Parking enforcement is unjust without adequate parking

By The Chronicle’s View

Ever been late for a final and had to eat a parking ticket just to get to class on time? At the U, chances are you have.

From July 2004 to June of 2005, U parking enforcement officers made $741,000 off parking tickets alone. While this only accounted for 6 percent of Commuter Services’ total revenue during the same period, it still amounts to roughly $26 per student.

Which explains why, if you were to ask students at the U to prioritize their biggest concerns with the school, most would put parking somewhere near the top of the list.

Yet the administration refuses to consider alternatives to the current situation-in which hordes of students end up spending hundreds for the luxury of huffing and puffing a half-mile to classes-and simply skirts the issue by suggesting students use TRAX or take the bus instead of spending their money on gas.

Gee, thanks guys, but for countless commuter students for whom driving to the U is the only option, that advice offers little solace-especially considering those students already pay fees for the aforementioned services they don’t use on top of their gas, parking permits, and the copious parking tickets they will likely pay anyway.

Parking enforcement insists that officers don’t receive quotas or commissions, and that the total amount of tickets is inconsequential when compared to other sources of income.

Thus far, however, that appears to be nothing more than a company line.

If they really want to prove that improving parking is a priority at the U-and that the metered spots nearest campus center are not the ticket bait they seem to be-the administration needs to push for a multi-level parking structure in the center of campus which is capable of accommodating the thousands of students who visit the U by automobile each day.

It won’t make them any money, and they might have to plow through a soccer field which gets used for about 15 minutes every day, but at least they’ll prove that they aren’t just taking advantage of a student body which is just too apathetic, powerless, and busy to do anything about it themselves.