There’s No Space for University Parking Complaints

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So let’s pretend that we all love to go to school in the morning.

Let’s pretend that you can sleep in and wake up for your class at 10:45 a.m. without having to worry about finding a place to park.

We’ll pretend that when you show up to campus, the parking attendants hand you a gift basket and ask that you grace the next “A” lot with your presence. They clean your car for you while you’re in class, and when you come back, rather than a ticket under your windshield wiper, there rests a Ghiradelli chocolate mint.

Perhaps such would be a bit too much to ask. But in essence, as a student body, we aren’t demanding too much less.

We want to be slathered and spoiled with exactly what we want, when we want it. We want to pay a nickel for services worth far more, and we don’t want to be held accountable for breaking the rules.

And what is it that we think will solve our problems, silence our woes against the campus parking empire? “Just build us a parking terrace,” we say. “Just find us more places to park, and we’ll be happy.”

Well, unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on parking meters. To build a terrace that can last for the next two decades would cost well over $12,000 per parking space. If you multiply that by 600 spaces, you’ve got $7.2 million.

Do I have any students interested in finding a donor willing to pay over $7 million for a parking terrace?

I’m sure there is some millionaire out there with a passion for parking terraces that would just die to have his name on one. Any takers? I didn’t think so.

So go ahead, demand that the University of Utah build you a brand-spanking-new parking terrace. Just don’t complain when the cost of your parking pass nearly triples?twice.

What student has $600 a year to pay for the mercy of a few feet to store their car for a couple of hours? Certainly not me.

Yet, some seem to think that the university need only say “abracadabra” and pull a parking space or two out of its magic hat.

We want the parking, but we refuse to pay for it. There is no such thing as an inherent right to park on campus.

The parking services provide just that?services. If you want it, you have to be willing to pay the price for it. The parking services are fully self funded. If students don’t provide the money for the services, where is it supposed to come from?

Well, so you ask, what’s going on with those parking meters that give me just enough time to tie my shoe? Isn’t it obvious that my class is longer than 30 minutes?

That’s the point. Parking meters exist for a reason?to get you out of there. Those spots aren’t designed for students alone, but for visitors who need to stop by for a few minutes.

For some reason, we get this idea that just because we pay a few dollars for parking, we should have the right to complain when we get a ticket for being a couple minutes late to turn the knob for the third time in a row. And truly, it is only a few dollars compared to what others pay.

Have you ever been overwhelmed with glee to spot an empty void in the distance only to find out that it was declared “Reserved?”

It’s easy to get worked up about the inequality that it renders, but did you know that someone pays nearly 10 times as much as you do to have that spot? If you’re willing to work full-time here on campus and pay a good $1,000 a year, that spot’s yours.

When I hear about this current lawsuit against parking services, or other students complaining about the parking situation, what I’m really hearing is people whining about something that they aren’t willing to take responsibility for.

How many students do you think take advantage of the nearly $1,000,000 million that the U spends to make every student’s ID card a free coupon to ride the UTA?

There are many excuses for why students don’t utilize the public system, and some are more valid than others, but the greatest cause for the parking problem isn’t the university or parking services?it’s the students.

It’s the students who are too lazy to take action. How many students know that there is a university committee set up to discuss parking issues and propose changes?

Students complain about not having enough time to get involved in such opportunities, yet they expect other people to make the changes for them. I’d be willing to bet that the people in ASW trying to propose reasonable solutions are among the busiest on campus with the least amount of time.

It’s time for students to quit expecting solutions to magically appear without having to work for it. And merely complaining about the situation is not work?it’s annoying.

There are people in this state who don’t have food. There are people in this state who don’t even have a place to sleep at night, and all that we as students have to complain about is the fact that no one reserves us a parking space trimmed with diamonds.

Students are going to have to learn to ride a bike, take the bus, park further away and ride the shuttles or, heaven forbid, walk.

If you can’t find a spot for your car, don’t bring your car to school.

It’s that simple.

And, by the way, good luck getting a sponsor for the Huntsman Student Parking Terrace.

Kristien welcomes feedback at: [email protected] or send a letter to the editor to: [email protected].