Campus Parking can be a Frustration to Some Students

As some­one who has occa­sion­ally had a vehi­cle avail­able to me, although I don’t have one right now like many of you stu­dents read­ing this I have felt the pinch of expen­sive park­ing per­mits on cam­pus. I thought sev­eral times about ways of poten­tially skirt­ing the park­ing reg­u­la­tions before com­ing to the con­clu­sion that there really was no way to do so with­out mak­ing things a major pain on myself or get­ting in trouble.

Being a col­lege stu­dent too I totally under­stand the frus­tra­tion that comes with shelling out $150 to nearly $200 for a park­ing per­mit depend­ing on whether you live on cam­pus or not. It doesn’t help that the city has marked sev­eral blocks of res­i­den­tial streets within cam­pus as “city per­mit park­ing only” to dis­cour­age you from try­ing to skirt the uni­ver­sity park­ing reg­u­la­tions; whether this was a city ini­tia­tive, a uni­ver­sity one that the city took up, or both, it cer­tainly is a win-win for both enti­ties. And if you even think you can get away with park­ing with­out a per­mit any­where on cam­pus, you won’t get away with it; I guar­an­tee you won’t, and we’ll leave it at that.

How­ever, mon­e­tary frus­tra­tions aside these per­mits do serve pur­poses: namely, they pay salaries for the park­ing per­son­nel as well as for main­te­nance on the exist­ing park­ing lots. These are a cou­ple of those things in life that you just have to grit your teeth and deal with, because that money has to come from some­where; own­ing a car on its own isn’t exactly a bar­gain for the most part to begin with, so although the extra fees for the park­ing per­mit are a big pain in the wal­let, it’s hardly going to end up as the most expen­sive thing that your car will ring you up for. And although I’m sure many of you were aware of this, teach­ers don’t get off free either: they get rung up $169 for a full-year park­ing per­mit, which is actu­ally more expen­sive than what non-resident stu­dents pay: they pay $146 for a yearly per­mit. If you live on cam­pus though you get hit $41 extra for your yearly per­mit, this likely helps pay for the addi­tional cam­pus safety patrols that roll through the lots.

So while I know all of us want to be able to have our free lunch on cam­pus, I hope you under­stand why that’s not so easy to pull off. Although I can also under­stand that there is a lot of cyn­i­cism over using the money to fix the park­ing lots which is an entirely dif­fer­ent issue, it doesn’t change the fact that in order to fix the lots at all, there has to be money com­ing in some­where to do so. In any case the staff salaries are enough to jus­tify hav­ing to buy a per­mit to park on cam­pus. As I said I wasn’t one to just go along and be all right with that at first either, but if you think about all the things that go into park­ing on cam­pus I hope you have a bit more under­stand­ing after read­ing this.

Image cour­tesy of Josh Lee — The Stinger
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