ELMHURST – An ordinance expected to be approved by the Elmhurst City Council later this month to prevent York High School students from parking on Mitchell Avenue could lead to over-crowded sidewalks, a sharp rise in school bus usage, and a dramatic ego-blow to students who feel they are “too cool” to walk or ride the bus to school, according to assistant principal Drew McGuire.
Aimed at appeasing Mitchell Avenue residents concerned with the safe maneuverability of emergency vehicles, landscapers, pool cleaners and furniture store delivery trucks down a street normally lined on both sides with parked cars during the school year, the ordinance calls for a 2-hour parking limit on Mitchell between St. Charles Road and Eggleston Avenue during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days.
“Many of our students have very little experience riding a school bus or utilizing sidewalks and crosswalks,” said McGuire during a press conference held in a section of the school’s parking lot normally reserved for valet parking. “By taking away those coveted parking spots on Mitchell, we’re setting these kids up for ridicule and embarrassment. This could threaten the entire student social hierarchy based on who has a parking pass.”
Early feedback from York students confirms McGuire’s assertion.
“I was counting on a boost to my social status this year based on driving my dad’s Range Rover every day,” said senior Parker Schultz, who stated that he typically rode his skateboard to school last year and actually lives closer to York than the Mitchell Avenue side street.
Students who live further away from York expressed concern over relearning the etiquettes of riding on a school bus.
“I don’t know if they still segregate students on the bus based on popularity, and I’m worried that I might have to share a seat with someone,” said senior Piper McComb, who noted that she only dates boys who drive cars to school but finds herself “temporarily” single as the new school year approaches. “But the good news is that my mom will have to let me hold on to her Amex card so I can pay the bus driver.”
Assuming the ordinance is officially approved during the next City Council meeting on August 15th, signs would go up on Mitchell August 16th, the day after school starts.