Letter to the Editor 2-2-17

From Stanley Jointer, Assistant Professor of Computer Science:

I’m writing regarding a survey put out by the Parking Office, which is created to judge interest in changing from the current, permit-based system to a system based on ability to pay.  The system that the survey suggests implementing has a multi-fold effect on our campus community and is detrimental to us all.

Most importantly, creating a system that is based on the ability to pay will automatically be detrimental to most students.  Given the price tiers for the proposed “reserved” and “premium” class of parking, which range from double to octuple (eight times the current price) of the current faculty parking, one can only assume that students will take the option for the proposed “economy” classification.  Given the current location of various parking lots and the concept that reserved and premium parking will likely be located in lots that are currently used by faculty and staff, we can only assume that economy parking will be located in places that are utterly disturbing with regards to students reaching class on time.  The amount of time it will take for students to find a parking space in these economy class parking lots will further take away from their class and study times, all because they cannot afford $800 to park in a closer location.  And allow me to briefly mention the increase in fender-benders as more people compete for fewer and spaces further away from the classes as well as the increase in stress level all around.

Secondly, and I admit a little selfishly as a professor, raising prices on faculty and staff so that they can park in locations where we always parked before, and with a multiplier of eight(!), is detrimental to professors being able to start courses on time.  I refuse to pay $800 just to park in the location that I currently park in, which, I may add, requires me to be on campus at 7:30 a.m. as it is.  I shouldn’t be required to arrive at 6:30 a.m. or walk to work, which I’m lucky enough to be able to do in a pinch…not daily, simply because the Parking Office wants to disguise a parking permit price increase as reserved or premium parking while accentuating the divide between those who have and those who have not.  As a professor, I might be able to afford $800 a year.  I’m pretty certain that my department’s administrative assistant cannot.

Finally, parking issues can be alleviated simply by letting me know which lots have available space in them, so I can drive directly to that lot to park. If, for whatever reason, I’m running behind, I’d much rather know that there are no spaces available on University Drive, and I should proceed directly to Main Street or 15th Street parking.  Such a system saves me time and frustration, which are the real issues with parking.  It’s not the locations or not enough parking, but more so it’s not knowing where the parking spots are.

I strongly urge all readers to tell the Parking Office to think of a different solution to perceived parking issues than to increase the divisions between students, staff and faculty by creating a parking system based on wealth.