The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Students need convenient parking

By Reed Nelson

As I strolled across one of our campus’ many asphalt expanses, I thought, “I know what this campus needs: more A lots, and more pay parking lots while we’re at it.”

Well, maybe those exact thoughts didn’t cross my mind. In fact, just the opposite did. On a campus inundated with endless parking, there are few lots near actual classrooms. In the coming stormy months, there promises to be many a miserable walk for students.

Faculty who possess a vaunted A parking pass have quite a bit less to worry about. Meanwhile, many students get to class by driving to a remote location on campus, their car a distant memory halfway through their trek.

The faculty is just as entitled to parking as students, but at $125 for a yearlong U pass and $62 for an E pass, the lots are a valuable commodity. I walk past the A lot between Sutton Building and the Naval Sciences Building every day, followed by a pay lot near the Union, and wonder why students can’t park anywhere nearby.

The fact is, there are 3,522 A lot parking stalls on campus (13.42 percent of all spots), but only 2,765 E stalls (10.54 percent) and 3,636 U stalls (13.86). That adds up to 6,401 total student-accessible spots on campus.

For those of you playing the home game, only 24.1 percent of all spots are allotted to students, according to Commuter Services’ website. We have 22,149 undergraduate students and 1,473 faculty members, according to University Fast Facts on the U website. That means there is one spot for every three and a half students. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily factor in Residence Halls spots, where students are required to purchase a pass. On the other hand, there are about two and a half spots per faculty member. This is outrageous.

On top of the low availability, most students who find a spot in E or U lots still don’t have easy access to classes because neither lot exists within central campus. Instead, we have several student lots that litter the outskirts with limited access after 6 p.m.

According to Commuter Services’ website, the Marriott Library pay lot boasts 304 stalls. Nearby is another A lot of 85 stalls8212;all of which are generally filled after 6 p.m., and the 304 pay-as-you-go parking stalls at the library are often empty or spotty at best.

“We have a need to create turnover business, thus bringing in people without a need for a parking pass,” said Alma Allred, director of Commuter Services. “They need a place to park too, creating a need to add pay lots and metered spots.”

That’s all good, but these lots could be scattered across campus, instead of centralized. Students are part of the business as well, and we should be entitled to at least a few of the privileges that the visitors on campus get. Allred said Commuter Services has tried to allow free parking after 6 p.m. in the library lot, but to no avail.

“We just ended up employing more people to handle the situation,” Allred said.
The numerous A lots stick out like sore thumbs on campus, especially to those who pay $125 for a U pass8212;which doesn’t get them all that much closer than the Residence Halls8212;but have no alternative except UTA for getting to school. The school needs to open up some first-come, first-serve spots for students in central campus. One visitor lot is understandable, two is a little annoying, but three is downright superfluous, especially when combined with the many central A lots.

Still, all parking lot additions have gone in the wrong direction. We traded a golf course for more student parking in the middle of nowhere, and we trading a building for an A lot. The U needs to either scrap A lots and pay parking in the middle of campus and help out students who pay to park near the Great Salt Lake or make at least some student lots accessible to campus.

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