September 30, 2016

Editorial: Webster must take action on parking

The parking situation since the construction of the Interdisciplinary Science Building has kicked off is unacceptable and needs to be remedied as soon as possible. A contingency plan for the days like Tuesday needs to be created in order for a year with limited parking in Lots K and L to go swimmingly.

While normally The Journal as a staff avoids commenting on parking, the current state of Webster’s parking lots is a growing issue among commuters and residents. The problems with parking were unavoidable, of course; the science building is a necessity to the university and part of its master plan. The execution, however, must improve.

The Journal would like to make it clear that this is not a criticism of Webster’s parking situation overall. We believe the university has taken the steps necessary to ensure that in the next year or so parking issues will be heavily alleviated with the parking garage’s expansion.

However, the current situation is aggravating and pushes the average student’s frustration past the usual muttering. When half of a heavily used parking lot is marked off for the entire day for an event in the evening, it is quite difficult to ‘look on the bright side.’

The real problem with parking is not the fact that it is scarce, it’s that there seemingly was no contingency plan for the construction of the science building and what would happen if students could not find space. Simply stating that when the new parking garage extension is completed the university will have more parking spaces is not enough. For students who are trying to get to classes, make meetings and avoid getting nailed with a pricey Public Safety ticket, that seems like a long way off.

Tuesday, April 12 the university marked off half of the University Center’s parking spaces for a scholarship dinner in the building that started at 6 p.m. Why do the parking spaces need to be marked off for an entire day for an event that starts in the evening? Why were students such a low priority when it came to providing parking in a time when the campus is so obviously short of parking spaces?

If the university is serious about Webster alerts, they should have sent out an alert to students that their cars would be ticketed or towed if they were parked in the UC area, If students are not signed up for alerts, then leave flyers or signage around the UC parking lot the day before and of to make students aware of the issue.

Furthermore, if the university plans on closing off parking spots students paid for, they need to either give students warning or arrange for extra parking to be offered.

Perhaps Tuesday was just a day when the perfect storm of cars hit campus and that is that. But on that Tuesday students were frustrated because parking became a real issue; not just a gripe about walking from the parking garage but an actual lack of places to park. The UC was marked off for an entire day for a roughly three hour event, half of Lot K and all of Lot L are gone for the next year and at the moment Webster does not have an answer to alleviate the growing problems for students.

This editorial is the view of the editorial board, which is composed of 12 editors. You can find their names posted in the masthead.

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