The U leaves students asking, ‘Dude, where’s my parking?’

By By Nick Macey

By Nick Macey

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t attempt to park illegally here at the U. I was cursed with a “U” pass for this year, and as such, my parking options during the height of the morning are extremely limited. Since I am unwilling to wake up before 9 a.m., I arrive on campus and really have no other choice but to take my chances with the roulette wheel of U parking.

Being in such a position, I have attempted many ways to skirt the watchful eye of the campus patrol. Nothing illegal, of course, but also nothing successful. Early last week, I received a parking ticket. This was no surprise as it is a frequent occurrence. The next day I arrived on campus, late as usual, in extreme hurry to get to class. Being the middle of the morning, there was nowhere to park. The perfect spot, right in front of my class, was marked as an “A” spot. Immediately, my thoughts turned to the ticket from the day before and instantly a brilliant scheme was concocted-or so I thought. If I put the ticket on my windshield, the logic went, the parking patrol would pass my car, thinking that I had already been ticketed for my inappropriate parking. To all those who would attempt this brilliant idea, don’t. It doesn’t work.

The people who patrol our lots provide some order to the chaotic U parking system. Between “A”, “E”, “U”, special events and “President’s Club” passes, the system can become complex. Although many fail to recognize it, these patrollers provide a valuable service to those who park on campus.

These men and women should be appreciated. They have a keen sense and are skilled at a job that is not easy to do. Parking is a heated issue at the U and often those simply doing their jobs are forced to bear the brunt of unhappy drivers. Many things are suggested to ease the parking woes.

In a previous article, I suggested that the U golf course be closed, using part of the current 9th hole to allow for extra parking. A direct shuttle should run from this lot to the Union every five minutes. I personally believe this could help the U’s parking problem.

Some suggest that a less strict system of patrolling should be used. It is suggested that the first few times, the offending driver should only be issued a warning. That would not work to control the critical parking flow on the U campus. It is critical that the right parking spots be reserved for the right people at exactly the right time. A warning simply does not deter people from parking. There are not enough spots on campus to issue warnings to offending drivers. Others suggest a tiered system of pass distribution. The idea is that the higher number of credit hours the student has, the better parking pass they should be given. It has been suggested that only juniors and seniors be allowed to purchase “U” passes, while freshmen and sophomores be allowed only to purchase the “E” pass. This becomes a problem, as freshmen and sophomores are more spread throughout campus, completing their general education requirements. Older students are more focused on a set of buildings where the classes for their major reside.

Perhaps a system should be devised with localized parking permits taking up half of the lot and campuswide permits taking up the other half.

The parking system at the U is running at complete optimization. They simply cannot do more with what they have been given. Students should do their part by recognizing that parking patrollers are only doing their job, and even recognize that their job helps maintain order on campus.

The U administration should do its part by continuing to explore the expansion of available parking and to continue to better distribute and utilize the current available space.

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