SLS Students No Longer Allowed to Park at Vista

Ally Riley '20, Staff Writer

For years, SLS students have been using the Vista parking lot near St. Luke’s because only seniors are allowed to park on campus. But a shock came when, on January 31, Junior Class Dean Mr. LeBris sent out an email to inform underclassmen that beginning on Monday, February 4, no students would be allowed to park at Vista.

The parking lot, which is located in Lewisboro, New York, is about a two-minute drive from campus. While the lot is not incredibly convenient, it has been the best commuting option for many St. Luke’s families.

“Vista is my only way to get to and from school every day. My family and I rely on it as I live far away. I am still not sure yet as to what I am going to do for the rest of the year,” states Lea Panagiotidis ‘20.

Like many of her peers, Lea relies on senior students to pick her up at Vista and bring her to school every morning.

Aida Nahas ‘20 says, “I live far, and I have two younger siblings and we all have different schedules. Parking at Vista was a big help to my parents, especially saving my mom from doing one trip to St. Luke’s every day instead of three.”

Earlier in the week, the Town of Lewisboro called Director of Safety and Security Mr. Haynie regarding a series of complaints from neighbors in the area. They were unhappy with the number of out-of-state cars parked at the Vista Field lot.

The town representative went on to explain that unauthorized vehicles parked at the Vista lot would be towed and impounded starting on February 4. Unfortunately, there is nothing St. Luke’s can do to solve this issue as the ban on non-official parking has been issued by the Town of Lewisboro, not by the school.

“I live with my Mom who works a full-time job in Bridgeport. Therefore, Vista was my only way to get to school. I am really sad that it is being taken away, and it will be very difficult to figure out an alternative solution,” comments Christian Haas ‘20.

Fortunately, St. Luke’s is running a pilot program this year with a new bus company, Mustard. The buses will service door-to-door transportation to school from February 27, 2019 until the end of the school year. This potential alternative has been offered school-wide and will hopefully help some students and their families, but it may also pose a financial burden.

“I feel like this new solution is going to be very problematic. If there are a lot of people on the bus, the ride will be so long. I would much rather drive to school because it is cheaper and easier,” says Grace McKessy ‘20.

Despite the St. Luke’s policy that juniors cannot park on campus during the academic day, the school has agreed to be flexible for the week of February 4. Therefore, juniors have been granted permission to park in the lower lot, but only for this week. The school’s hope is that this flexibility will give students and their families enough time to come up with an alternative plan for the week of Monday, February 11.