Some of the most coveted parking spaces at Foothill High are now up for grabs to students who carpool after a ceremony Wednesday morning marking the conversion of 30 parking lot spaces long reserved for seniors into a carpool parking area.
The action was taken in collaboration with school administrators, members of the student Leadership class, and the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools, an organization funded by the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
Proponents of the plan see carpooling as a means to reduce the Tri-Valley's high level of air pollution, lighten traffic congestion in and around the parking lot and to build community on campus.
As an added incentive to encourage students to carpool, the city of Pleasanton will offer Foothill drivers $25 gas cards and passengers will be entered into weekly drawings for gift cards to local businesses.
Families looking for a carpool buddy are encouraged to utilize pleasantonschoolpool.org in order to help find neighbors to carpool. This effort is one of many, encouraging carpooling at more than 30 schools throughout the county on this pilot Carpool to School Day, officials said.
Ellen Fetherston, a junior at Foothill, a member of the Leadership class and part of the Safe Routes club, endorsed the carpool parking lot plan.
"This carpool area is a wonderful idea because it's going to reduce traffic going into the student parking lots, which has been a problem for a long time," she said. "It's great that we get to help the environment while also helping the students."
Student Ayesha Omarali, who worked on the project, said it "kills my inherent apathy."
So far, Amador Valley High School has not signed on to the effort to reserve spaces in its student parking lot for carpoolers.