On the public issue of commuter parking, it is important that we do not complain. Let us not challenge the university, but work with them as well.
Only a certain amount of land is available for the university to construct parking lots. The student housing on Lancaster is predominantly a private endeavor, so it is not the university’s fault we cannot have sufficiently convenient parking.
Even though there is sufficient parking on campus, it may not be convenient. The new apartment building will reduce the need for parking spaces because students will live within walking distance to classes. The new student housing on Kit Carson will provide the same benefit.
As for Eastern’s $30 permit fee, it is not extortion by the university because they are not forcing anyone to drive a car or motorcycle. If the $30 fee was incorporated into tuition, and everyone had to pay, that would be extortion.
This parking fee is relatively inexpensive. When I went to NKU in 2009, a parking permit was $175 per year and most times I was parking in gravel. Now, in my senior year at Eastern, I have figured out how to get free parking, and I’m never late for class.
I can park my bicycle almost anywhere that doesn’t conflict with egress or lawn mowing, and it doesn’t cost a penny. I don’t even pay for gas.
Sometimes I’ll hide my bike in a bush and walk away. If someone steals it, there is a hundred of them just like it. Please don’t steal it though; I’m willing to let anyone take it for a spin.
Is it truly the lack of parking space making commuters so frustrated, or is the requirement of this space that causes the headaches? A motorcycle certainly requires less space than an SUV, but not everyone will feel comfortable sitting on a piping engine.
A bicycle takes even less space, but after society has been driving for a hundred years, it is hard to expect anyone to put effort into riding a bike. I also understand it is not possible for every student to live within a reasonable biking distance.
We all know deep down carbon-combusting automobiles are not a sustainable mode of human transport. Most of us are still in our low 20s, so do we want to spend our lives circling around a parking lot?
Instead of circling around the problem and pointing fingers, we must plan for the future. What if the inventors of the Segway had made it go sixty miles per hour? What if some kind of gyroscopic cycle using perpetual energy was created?
The human capability is limitless. Let’s reduce our requirement for parking spaces and the associated stress of lumping around the blacktop. Numerous alternatives exist, and as a society, individuals and especially as university students, we need only be willing to try.