The ongoing West Campus construction will cause all sorts of headaches during the 2023-24 school year, and the biggest hassle of all will likely be the parking situation. As it stands, the West Gate parking lot can fit most, but not all, student drivers with its 76 parking spaces. While it varies by day, there are usually some students who arrive late and have to find street parking. Parking is already tight with the lot, so with those 76 spaces gone, the parking situation will become far more difficult.

Taking into account the fact that there are roughly 120 junior and senior day students—most of whom drive to school—as well as the fact that the parking lot is already almost always full and has a little bit of overflow, a reasonable estimate for the number of student drivers is between 70 and 80. That does not even take into account the sizable, albeit smaller, number of faculty members who also drive to school and fill up a separate area of the West Gate lot—which also no longer exists. All in all, no less than 100 CA-affiliated cars that would normally have parked in the lot will need to go elsewhere. The easiest place for those cars to go would simply be the parallel parking spaces lining Main Street.

Excluding handicap and electric vehicle charging spaces, there are 72 parking spots on Main Street that lie between Sudbury Road and Belknap Street (an area that encompasses the whole length of Concord Academy’s campus). Clearly, that is not nearly enough room—even if many of those spaces were not taken up by other drivers in Concord, as they usually are. Carpooling should slightly diminish the number of student drivers in this upcoming year, although that is not feasible for everyone, since many juniors are still under the six-month passenger restriction and many other students just live far from everyone else. 

There will always be enough places to park in the general vicinity of CA, given the parking lots on Keyes Road and further street parking on Main Street, but those extra spots are far enough that many students will be late. When CA decided to get rid of all of its student parking, it did so without a plan in place to reduce the number of students who need to drive, and also lacked a plan where such drivers could park in a convenient way. If you are a student driver reading this article, plan to give yourself a generous cushion of time each morning to be able to find parking—and take the train, get a ride, or carpool if possible.