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.