No Parking: 24-hour reserved spaces should be open to students at night

From The Battalion

By Tommi Ivey

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2006

It's the day before an exam and an Aggie is headed to the library to get in some last minute studying far away from roommates, the television and other distractions. As she gets to campus, she realizes that all the yellow lots are full. However, looking at the lots closest to the libraries, the Aggie notices row after row of empty spaces, all 24-hour reserved, which cannot be parked in at the risk of being towed.

So now they must either park far away and walk alone in the darkness to the library, pay to park in a garage or give up and go home. Most students are not going to pay to park just to study. And since they must study, they are more likely to park far away and walk to the library, which is not always safe, even on this campus.

Twenty-four hour reserved spaces are not beneficial to students and hinder the learning experience on this campus. Something needs to be done to modify the reserved space policy.

Currently there are 1,581 24-hour reserved lot spaces on campus, said June Broughton, communications and marketing manager for Transportation Services (TS).

Granted, professors need to have access to the campus for their research, classes and other involvements, but the allocation of these spaces needs to be reevaluated to benefit all persons on this campus. The primary goal of this University should be to educate its students. Unfortunately, the hassle for a an off-campus student to even park to go to the library is a deterrent to not study. Parking should not be among the many reasons students have for not studying.

In order for there to be viable parking for both faculty and staff who need quick access to their offices, and to appease student demands, TS need to take a look at a few obvious questions.

Why are there so many 24-hour reserved spaces on this campus? At any given time, a large number of the spaces are empty, which makes a strong case for sharing of the spaces within departments. Why are the spaces 24-hour reserved instead of 12 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.? This would still give the faculty or staff member hours that the space would be reserved for them, thus allowing easy access to offices.

When asked about the possibility of these two options for reducing the number or time constraints of 24-hour reserved spaces, Broughton said, "We have considered the subjects of your other two questions; however, that is not something this department can unilaterally decide," and that the issue would be in the hands of committee in the Vice President of Business Affairs office.

There needs to be more flexibility in the 24-hour parking policy, because it is cheating students and wasting parking that could be utilized more efficiently.

There is already a parking shortage on campus, particularly on main campus. Having such a high number of reserved spaces seems like a vast misuse of space by TS.