By Elizabeth Childers
Over the past two weeks, there has been a lot of talk about parking among the editorial staff and during that time, we published two editorials pointing out the very obvious problem about parking on this campus. I’m happy to say, Public Safety has come up with a plan to change parking.
The issue behind parking is overcrowding, caused by everyone being allowed to bring their car to campus, a larger freshmen population and minimal off-campus housing.
There are too many students for the size of our parking lots, and not all lots are uniform on how they designate B parking from C. Hence, a lot of tickets and boots for students who may or may not be aware of parking are only parking briefly, and some, like me, brazenly park without a pass.
Public Safety is aware of the situation, and is changing the parking to a new system, based on how students plan to use their car.
For a small fee significantly less than the $50 currently needed for the cheapest pass, students would be able to purchase a remote parking permit, meaning they could park their cars in farther areas on campus, like Roy Rike Field, Williams Drive and Selby. These permits are for students who don’t really use their cars for anything but going home or traveling on weekends. Residential lot parking permits, for those students who need more constant access to their cars, will be a significantly higher cost of over $100. These permits would be honored in all residential parking lots.
While this is a change, whether or not it is a good one is debatable. The permits, especially the residential lot permits, are still extremely expensive, an expense that shouldn’t exist.
Students pay enough in tuition, room and board, and it’s only costing more next year. Let the students park free. There should be an order system of registering cars and physically receiving permits, but to charge so much money for them, on top of the cost going to books and the university already, is ridiculous.
Yes, having a car on campus is a privilege for many. But for some it’s a necessity. For students who work off campus, or students with medical needs or students who need their cars for on campus work, need their cars. To make them pay for something that is not optional isn’t appropriate.
The change in parking is no doubt a movement in the right direction. It’s an acknowledgement of the problem. However, to completely fix the problem with parking, there needs to be some bigger changes. Parking lots need to be renovated Currently, lots like Smith, especially near UDF, are cramped, and honestly, half the time I’m worried I’m going to take out someone’s rear end, not to mention the amount of people who don’t get that it’s a one-way lot. Most of the parking lots on campus could do with a new coat of paint to mark spaces. And the lot accompanying Stuy is extremely small for the amount of students who reside not only in that building, but in the SLUs surrounding it.
Parking permits should be a cheap investment for students, not another hidden fee at a school which continually raises tuition.
If you read the caption and note above, sophomore Ellin Youse mentions the work Public Safety does for students, which is no small number. And I agree with the fact they don’t get the recognition they deserve.
The past editorials on this issue weren’t about rants about how unfair life is. These pieces called attention to an issue, by two separate people with separate grievances and different things to say. While Public Safety is working towards a better system of parking, a change is needed on a larger scale: parking needs to be seen maybe not as a necessity, but definitely not as a way for the university to make money in any way.