Bad parking caught in 4k

Instagram account pushes students to stay between the lines


Owner of @vhhs.cant.park spots another instance of bad parking. | Photo courtesy of @vhhs.cant.park

Even with parking spaces larger than the standard size, VHHS students still manage to park over the bold yellow lines. Now, bad parking doesn’t only fill up the junior and senior lots, but also many Instagram feeds. 

The recently created @vhhs.cant.park Instagram account captures and posts pictures of bad parking jobs. Appalled by the aggressive parking presented by the junior class, Erik Johnson (11) created @vhhs.cant.park in an attempt to improve the parking situation. 

“Somebody parked next to me and it was just atrocious,” Johnson said. “So, I thought, you know what, this has got to come to an end. So, right there in that parking lot, I created the account.” 

Since this encounter at the beginning of November, @vhhs.cant.park has picked up more than 900 followers and featured more than 250 bad parking jobs. With its daily posts and clever captions, the account has reeled in the attention of VHHS students from all grades. 

“I actually just cleared my camera of all the bad parking pictures, and I believe it was 120. I’ve had an influx of 15 a day,” Johnson said.

With this rise in photo submissions, Johnson faces challenges with fitting all submissions in the daily post. The increasing interaction has prompted students to act in various ways.

“I kind of just faked it the first time because I just thought it’d be funny if I parked really badly and someone did end up noticing,” said Anthony Smykalov (12). 

Other students do not need to fake their experiences to be featured on the Instagram account.

Kylie Schuldt (11), who has been on the account multiple times, said, “Personally I have already hit two things, including a car and a mailbox. I learned to drive over Zoom, so maybe that was not the best.”

A few times there are justifications for bad parking that the account is unable to depict.

 “One time someone was opening their door, and I didn’t want to run them over, so I had to park over the line,” Jessica DeLorm (11) said.

Students have begun to pay more attention to their parking, especially at school or nearby places like Chipotle with hopes to stay off of the account.

“It’s all jokes, but five times has been enough,” said Schuldt. 

Since students relate to experiences of being featured or seeing a friend featured, @vhhs.cant.park fosters a strong school-wide connection, according to Smykalov.

“It is something we can all connect over online,” Smykalov said. “Usually, the entire grade can’t talk to each other, but it’s times like these that brings the community together.”

The interactive nature of Instagram encourages students to engage through likes, comments, and photo submissions, in turn leading to the speedy rise in popularity of @vhhs.cant.park. 

“Especially the fact that people can send me other people’s parking helps connect all the four grades,” Johnson said. “Even some freshmen and sophomores that have started driving send me pictures.” 

Extending outside of VHHS, @vhhs.cant.park has connected with @mundeleinbadparking and @stevensonbadparking. The VHHS and Mundelein accounts have a slightly negative relationship fueled by a battle in the comment section, according to Johnson. The Stevenson parking account, however, has proven to be “an ally.” There may even be a collaboration coming up between the Stevenson and VHHS bad parking accounts in the near future.