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What parking problem?

Last week, Patrick Ross wrote about how confusing the parking system at Concordia. As a solution to the problem, he proposed that Parking Services start charging for parking and remove designations from student lots, so all students could park in all lots.

I would argue that our parking system is actually quite good. Especially this year with Concordia’s lower enrollment numbers, I never have any trouble finding a parking space in the designated commuter lot. There are always at least a dozen free spaces the back of the lot, even immediately before the popular 10:30 class time slot.

If Parking Services can afford to offer students free parking permits and there are not too many people parking, I do not understand why we should ask to be charged for the service. Ross contends that, with the added revenue, Parking Services could make the signs in all of the lots clearer, but this is unnecessary. Signs already clearly indicate who is allowed to park in each lot and during what hours. Students who find themselves repeatedly receiving tickets need only read the signs – buying new signs will not help them do that.

While the idea of removing lot designations seems appealing, especially to someone like me who walks several blocks each day from the commuter lot across the street from 12th Avenue to Old Main where my classes are located, that system is unfair to students who live on campus. It is only reasonable to expect that you would be able to park close to the building in which you live. If lots had no specific designations, the Park Region and Fjelstad lots would always be full of students going to their classes in Grose, Academy, Bishop Whipple and Old Main, making it very hard for residents of those buildings to find parking anywhere on the same side of campus as their dorms.

The parking system might never be perfect and it may never perfectly fit the needs of all students, but the system as it is now serves the majority of students well.

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