Harwood parking and why it fails

Wyeth Talmon and Carly Young

(The owners of the Instagram account asked to remain anonymous. In their bio, they say it is run by Pete Buttigieg, who is the United States Secretary of Transportation as a fun poke at parking fails. We will refer to the owners as The Petes the article)

A shared space crowded with students and teachers, the Harwood parking lot has been a point of contention for many years. It’s packed to the brim with running students and busy teachers who don’t have time or don’t care enough to fix their parking job if it isn’t perfect. Two students have decided to take a stand against terrible parking jobs in the Harwood parking lot by posting them on Instagram. 

The account is called hu_parking_fails. This account has 36 posts as of now, with no sign of stopping. The original inspiration for the page was from one of the co-owners, The Petes, who received a message from a friend in Massachusetts. This friend told The Petes they had made it onto their school’s parking fails’ Instagram. The Petes found it funny and it inspired them to make one for Harwood. 

“I do think it’s helped [people] park better,” said The Petes. “People have privately messaged me TikToks of people readjusting their parking job so they don’t end up on Instagram.” They also added that the number of submissions has decreased. The Petes think people are over it but expect an increase in the winter since the lot will most likely be blanketed with snow for months. “If the snow melts later in the day, we will have a lot of submissions since nobody is gonna be able to see where their spot is.”

Although the Instagram dedicated to the parking fails of Harwood mostly emphasizes the goofy side of terrible parking, the actual lot has caused many challenges for staff and students alike. With fading lines and numbers that are barely visible, it’s very difficult, especially in the harsh winters, to see the spot you are assigned to.

In an interview with the director of facilities for the district, Ray Daigle, we discovered that the Harwood parking lot has been severely neglected. In fact, it’s been 8 years since the last time lines and numbers were painted. The main reason for it has been the bond. 

“The bond has been talked about for about 7 years, and the plan was to completely rip up the lot so we never decided to paint it, thinking it would be a waste,” said Daigle. Now, 8 years later, they are trying to finally paint new lines to improve the lot. The road to replacing hasn’t been smooth, the facility directors ended up being unable to get yellow paint, and then couldn’t get white. Once they finally got both colors needed and decided to paint on November 13th, the machine meant for painting wouldn’t work. They scheduled it for the next weekend after the machine would hopefully be repaired, but even after returning from the repair shop, it was still not functional. Right now, all they can do is hope winter holds off so they can paint. So far, it doesn’t seem like the weather is going to cooperate. 

For now, we’ll just have to rely on the plows and hope they are diligent.