University must work towards parking reform

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With UW-Whitewater faculty champing at the bit to have their own parking lot, it is evident that now is the time for the university to address its parking problem. It’s a problem that has been present at this campus for far too long and both faculty and students would like to see some changes.

For the 2011-2012 academic school year, the university sold 2,868 parking passes to both commuter students and faculty and staff as of Oct. 31, 2011. Faculty and staff have 845 of those spots while commuting students garnered 2,023. Despite the number of spots sold, there are only 1,182 available parking spots.

When asking why the parking lots are always so crowded, our answer lies here.

While the university may think it’s acceptable to oversell the parking lots because of a steady flow of students and faculty in and out of the lots, it is instead inconveniencing those who paid to have a parking spot.

We have faculty who have put in hard work to be where they are today and students who are paying a lot of money to go to school here.
The university’s quest to earn an extra buck by overselling the lots is only insulting staff and students. It’s time the university shows both parties respect and not oversell the lots.

Another recent development on campus is parking on Prince and Prairie Streets will soon be metered. One could argue that many students only park on these streets because they can’t find a parking spot in the lots.

The university is now charging students who found a way to deal with the problem the university created.

Since many students park there already, this will push their parking destinations further away from campus in an attempt to avoid paying the meter.
The effect of metered parking will push students into residential areas, providing an inconvenience for both Whitewater residents and students.
It’s easy to forget that life in Whitewater does not always revolve around the university.

There are families being raised with no university affiliation. Students parking up and down residential areas of these families may disrupt their lives that could intensify tensions between some residents of Whitewater, the university and students.

While many students scoff at the idea of an all faculty parking lot, we must in turn find a solution that will help students and staff with this parking problem the university has created for us.

Many universities do not allow freshmen to bring cars to school. It’s time that the university also implements this rule.

Freshmen who come from far parts of Wisconsin, out of state or have a job that  might not be within walking distance could have the opportunity to appeal.

While the university brass may be hesitant to adopt this plan because it will mean less money, there will be less of a demand for parking spots. Also, the university shouldn’t allow students who have a resident parking pass to also have a commuter pass.

To ensure the faculty and students who pay for passes get a spot, the university needs to stop overselling the parking lots. Selling nearly two-and-a-half times the number of available spots will only infuriate those who paid to park.

Let’s not let the university continue to pinch pennies and in turn provide a poor parking experience. By enacting these solutions, students and faculty will have a more positive experience at UW-Whitewater.

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