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Parking problems persist

To celebrate our second print issue of the year, we thought we’d go back to one of our favorite topics: parking. This space is used to talk about parking more than any other topic – it’s a problem, and it’s been a problem for a while. We, however, don’t think it has to continue being a problem.

While there were parking spaces added over the summer, the number of students added far exceeded the number of new spaces. When commuting students, about 60% of the total student body, have to get to campus 45 minutes before their classes start just to make sure they have time to hit eight parking lots in hopes of actually getting a legal space, something is wrong. Professors, staff, students, everyone but those with assigned spaces – we’re all feeling the parking crunch.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

First, let’s look at some facts. Most of the central part of campus is built up already, and we don’t want anything as horrible as the oval being paved over to make more spaces happen. However, there’s still a lot of space around the edges of campus. Many residential students don’t use their car much from Monday through Thursday. Conversely, the majority of commuting students are only here Monday through Thursday. Where is this going?

We propose that the college build one or more “remote” parking lots on the edges of campus. Possible sites include up by campus facilities, or expanding the existing front gate lot. Monday-Thursday, this “remote” lot would be for residential students, freeing up the central lots for commuting students. Friday through Sunday, when campus essentially empties out except for residential students, there would be “free” parking in all lots, i.e. anyone could park in any lot. Public Safety could add more patrols through the remote lot to promote safety. This would abate the fears of students having to walk far from their cars to their dorms after being out at night, as most nighttime activities take place on the weekends.

We know this won’t be a popular proposal. Everyone likes parking near to where they’re going. At this point, however, the only other solution we see is limiting the number of students who are allowed to have permits. Freshwomen – want to give up your cars? That’s the solution many colleges and universities have come up with for their parking problems.

With remote lots for residents, everyone can keep their car on campus, commuters can stop worrying about being late for class, and hopefully the total amount of cars circling like vultures for a space can drop dramatically. Because while we all know how frustrating circling can be, have you ever thought about how much extra gas we’re collectively burning while doing it? Remote lots will not only help us, but can help the environment at the same time.

Do it for the trees, girls.