This is a BAW we’ve been sitting on for a while, a relatively generic problem we all hear our friends and classmates complaining about on a daily basis. Generally, we’ve all just had to suck it up and deal with it. However, with the NCUR parking issues still fresh in all of our minds, we think this is a concern worth addressing now.
During the few days of NCUR, many on-campus drivers kept their cars in their spots, knowing they would be snagged within moments if they wanted to go somewhere, while off-campus students, like myself, were generally too afraid to see what the campus might look like with thousands of extra visitors taking up spaces. The decent spaces were even reserved in the early evenings, when nearly all of the NCUR visitors had left, leaving lone members of Public Safety to carry out the inexplicable duty of turning away cars from practically empty parking lots.
But all that is beside the point. Successfully hosting something like NCUR is undeniably beneficial to the reputation of the college, one that has, of course, always been overshadowed by another nearby institution (yup, TC3). Also, the argument that IC was too small to accommodate NCUR is relatively flawed—doesn’t every school try to set itself up to function at capacity, whether big or small?
But the parking at IC truly is a pertinent issue that must be addressed by the school if it wants to continue to expand its facilities and attract more prospective students, and one can only expect that it will attract more students once the $65-million Athletics and Events Center is finished. I’ve personally had to park my car behind Emerson Hall, the final frontier of IC parking, pretty often this semester, making my own spot along the perimeter of the lot on a couple occasions.
We’ve all heard and seen the stories from our own friends and classmates—students who run into class late because they’ve had to shop for a spot for so long, other frustrated kids who miss class and go home because no spaces are left for them… Well, that’s probably it really, but there’s not much variation in failed parking stories, and there are definitely plenty of them.
But going back to the NCUR parking fiasco, the school offered a free shuttle bus on those days for visitors. Why not offer that service every day of class? Much of the current parking debacle is exacerbated by nearby residents, often in the Circle and Solar Apartments, who drive relatively short distances to avoid painfully long walks (not to be accusatory—I wouldn’t want to do that walk either. But really, you’re ruining it for everyone). So just send an empty shuttle bus up to the Circles once or twice an hour and hopefully things will improve—and isn’t this supposed to be an environmentally sound campus? Why not encourage mass transit? It’s much more efficient and green!
But if not, fuck it. Just build some ugly-ass parking garage somewhere… but please do something.