Parking is never an easy task no matter where you go. Limited spaces parking meters and fines just come with the territory. But it seems that the parking situation on campus has gotten worse since last year. Finding a place to park is more difficult and meters have become more expensive. And the free parking spots have seemed to all but disappear.
Grey parking is still available near the student recreation center, but it’s isolated from the rest of campus to an extent that it becomes impractical. And now the prices of meters have gone up in price since last year. Meters on campus now cost more than the ones off campus throughout the city. What caused the changes? The school raises fees and fines simply because it can. Because for the most part those who drive have to drive.
In an economic sense, the school has a monopoly on the parking situation. Students will continue to pay whatever they have to in order to park on campus because they have no other option. It might be because of this that the school has raised prices. The university has been working hard the last two years to pinch as many pennies as possible to prepare for the massive renovations soon to start in the union.
It would be easy to assume that the school is using the parking situation on campus as a venue to produce more money.
Parking is something the school should provide as a service to the students and faculty. Their main goal should not be to use it as a profit-making opportunity. Of course the school needs to cover expenses and be able to afford to sustain the parking lots and pay the meter readers and whatnot. But when the school becomes more interested in profit than helping meet the needs of the students that is a problem.
Perhaps the school can work to renovate the parking situation on campus. Use some of the school grounds that are underutilized, such as the grassy area across from Beach music hall, to construct a parking garage. This would be an efficient way to create more parking options without taking up a lot of room. And some revisions should be made to the parking permits system.
It seems that the school oversells the amount of spaces for permits so that there would not be enough spaces if needed. This is why it feels like students are constantly playing a weird version of musical chairs every time they leave their space, hoping and praying they will be lucky enough to find one when they get back.
It seems that some levels of the permits are just over sold in general. The upper-level spaces, orange and gold, never seem to be full. These spaces could be converted back to metered or free spaces for the rest of campus to use.
We understand that the school can only do so much as far as the parking situation goes. But we would appreciate it if more consideration was given to the needs of the students and the faculty who need to park on campus on a daily basis.