How to Navigate Palmetto Parking


Lines of cars fill the 74th avenue parking lot as students try to leave.

Kate Stuzin, Managing Editor

With a fully in-person return to Palmetto this year, it has taken a while to adjust to the influx in traffic and parking lot congestion. Students know the pain of trying to get a parking spot before the lot fills up, or racing to their cars the second the school bell rings to avoid the seemingly never-ending traffic that follows. 

Below are six tips to help students park on campus.

1. Get to School Early

To say that the parking lot fills up fast is an understatement. Arrive mere minutes later than you normally do, and you may find yourself parking in the way back of the lot, or worse, not finding a spot at all. 

Students should aim to arrive at school before 7 a.m. to get a good parking spot.

2. Park in the Overflow Lots

Known for its large area and number of spaces, most student drivers gravitate towards parking in the main lot on 74th Ave. To decrease the odds of having to park in the back of the lot or not getting a spot altogether, students should make an effort to check out the two other Palmetto parking lots: the lot on the corner of 74th Avenue and 120th Street, and the lot adjacent to the teacher/visitor lot along 120th Street. 

These lots have fewer spots, meaning fewer people exit the lot once school ends, ultimately leading to a shorter line to leave the lot. If more students park in these alternate lots, congestion will decrease in the main lot as well; it is a win-win situation for everybody! 

To see Palmetto’s three designated student parking lots in closer detail, click here.

3. Park Based on Relative Location

Palmetto offers three lots for students to park in, and students should choose a parking lot based on the cardinal direction they drive from their home to school. Doing so will reduce congestion and make for a quicker and safer drive to and from school.

  • North of Palmetto: Main lot on 74th Avenue
  • South of Palmetto: Lot adjacent to the teacher lot along 120th Street or lot on the corner of 74th Avenue and 120th Street
  • East of Palmetto: Either lot on 74th Avenue
  • West of Palmetto: Lot adjacent to the teacher lot along 120th Street 

4. Know the Rules

If you do not have a parking pass, join the waitlist. Until then, try and get to school by 6:30 a.m. so you can parallel park alongside the perimeter of the school. Do not park in any student lots, or you will receive a parking citation by a police officer. 

Never park in the teacher/visitor lot, or you will get a citation. 

5. Back into the Spot

Drivers have more visibility when backing into a spot compared to pulling into a spot. Additionally, backing into a spot saves time as students do not have to back out straight into a busy parking lot filled with oncoming cars. They can easily drive forward out of the parking space instead. This helps to reduce collisions as the driver can see their surroundings more clearly when leaving school.

6. Carpool

Reduce your impact on school traffic and the planet by carpooling with students who live near you on the way to school. This also decreases the amount of gas money students spend, as well as the wear and tear on their vehicles. Driving with your friends is more fun anyway!