Honked on, honked off

Evan Watson/The News
Evan Watson/The News

Evan Watson/The News

One of the first lessons most of us learn at Murray State is how and where not to park, usually at the end of a yellow tag placed under a windshield wiper.

Getting your first parking tag is practically a part of adjusting to your time at Murray State, whether it is because you’re running late and can’t find a spot in your zone right before a test or you’re looking for a spot coming in at the end of a weekend.?But it shouldn’t be – and as usual, the administration has done nothing to address the problem of students looking for parking in all the wrong places.

It’s not that there aren’t a plethora of parking spots on campus – the problem lies in where those spaces are located. Out of 7,131 parking spaces, 1,290 are west of 16th Street. Hold up ­– there are 7,131 parking spots on campus and how many students that attend Murray State?

10,832. If we’ve done our math correctly, that means the University is currently running a deficit of around 3,701 parking spots. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but once one takes into consideration that all of Murray State’s students are not on campus at the same time, the numbers don’t look so bad.

You could be forgiven in thinking that fact alone means that there’s no real need for additional parking construction – but this is where the whole issue of parking spot placement comes to bear. Of the parking spots on campus, just 18 percent of all the parking on campus, lies west of 16th Street.

And of those 1,290 spots, many are located so far from campus that for many students in a pinch, it is better to risk parking in the wrong zone and picking up a parking ticket than miss class. This shouldn’t be the case. We should not have to choose between a ticket or missing class.

The administration, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that rather than address this problem, it will kick it further down the road by forming a committee to “study” the problem and offer solutions at some undeterminate period of time – which, in bureaucratic lingo basically means they’ve recognized the problem and will now proceed to do nothing about it except offer a typed packet of proposals that will go nowhere anytime soon.

The sheer indifference of the administration to this problem is overwhelming and at the same time predictable. After all, what incentive does the administration have to authorize the construction of additional parking spaces?

The University brings in quite a bit of revenue from parking tickets – to address this problem, that is, to build more parking, means depriving the University of a potential source of revenue, and we all know that the University always seems to be facing some kind of budget crisis (in spite of the University setting aside millions of dollars in its carry-forward fund last semester and making cuts to various programs on campus.)

Folks, the University is not going to address this issue. Not in any substantive way. Not unless they are forced to address it. If you want more parking spaces and less opportunities to get a ticket, you’re going to have to make some noise. Writing letters to the administration can only get you so far – and at this point, the only language they’re going to understand is that of protest.


The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.