Let’s talk about campus parking lots

Year after year, there is disparity in what students want from the parking lot system, and what is provided.

Students deserve to have their grievances aired, in hope for answers to their questions. 

This editorial serves to raise complaints, with the intent  to open a discussion as to what can be done to improve the parking situation on campus.  

Whether it’s the parking pass prices or finding a spot in the free lot, it is nearly impossible for a student to make it through their college career without feeling the drama of the parking lot. 

The two main issues that always end up coming up with new and veteran students alike are affordability and the free lot.

For new on-campus students, there is always the issue of affordability of the parking pass. 

As an on-campus student, in order to get a parking pass that is within a reasonable walking distance from the residence halls, you have to pay 280 dollars for a light green permit, which gets you into Lot 16 for a year.

The cheaper option for on-campus residence students is to pay 216 dollars a year for a dark green permit, which puts your car quite a distance away, essentially all the way across campus.  In the cold nights of winter, that hike back to the dorms can be quite treacherous and potentially dangerous. 

Then, of course, the issue for off-campus students is finding a way to get to campus. 

For many, they find that walking is simply a better alternative to purchasing an entire parking pass that costs over 100 dollars a year. 

As these students are already focused on paying tuition, textbooks, housing, food, among other things, a parking pass is one of the last things they want to break the bank for. But for others, their only hope is the dreaded free lot, located approximately half a mile from the Centennial Student Union. 

A large concern with the free lot is the limited number of spaces available. 

As the lot fills up as early as 8 a.m. during the week, students and faculty must race to the lot while not being guaranteed an open spot. 

The orange lots next to the free lot, on the other hand, are less likely to fill up to maximum capacity. 

If the two lot sections were to merge together, it would allow students and faculty a higher chance of securing a parking spot and wasting less time trying to find one.

As there is only one free lot on campus, it’s crucial to match the parking spaces to the high demand for them. 

The only question left is how to do so. Parking is an issue that has affected all students for generations. 

It is crucial for the administration to be open with students and be open with new solutions to best serve the student population. 

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