U. parking: We’re still complaining
In an article published in yesterday’s issue of The Daily Targum, Jack Molenaar, director of the Department of Transportation Services at the University, addressed several issues students face in regards to parking on campus. “Our goal is not to catch people,” Molenaar said of the approach employed by DOTS when ticketing offenders, “it’s to enforce the rules.” He then went on to explain how enforcement officers — through video security footage of suspects walking away from their cars and by Facebook searches of the individual’s name to find evidence of a ticket — go about enforcing those rules.
Organizing parking on campus, especially one as disjointed and decentralized as our own, is certainly a difficult task. Molenaar and the DOTS have been persistent in making parking on campus more convenient for all, and their work should not go without praise. But parking is still a huge problem, and tactics like the ones described by Molenaar make us slightly uneasy. DOTS officials should continue to tackle the biggest problems posed by on-campus parking in the coming months.
These problems, voiced daily by students all over campus, include both a lack of adequate space for parking and overly complicated, cumbersome parking rules that determine where and when students are authorized to park. Parking permits that, depending on where one obtains them, apply to only one campus invariably make going between campuses an unnecessary headache. Additionally, parking permits may not necessarily be given for the campus on which a student lives. These rules, paired with the punishment of exorbitant ticket costs for breaking them, put student parking complaints squarely in perspective.
As a consequence of these problems, many students are deterred from driving on campus altogether — and perhaps that’s the DOTS’ very intent. But until a more convenient and usable alternative is offered (read: a better bus system), students will likely continue to drive on campus despite the obvious costs.
As long as students at the University — a large portion of which is made up of commuters — continue to drive on campus, parking will probably always be a problem. But whether it means reforming the bus system or reforming the parking system, steps should be taken to make parking at the University easier for all.
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