Earlier this semester, the SGA discussed how they plan on making parking better, and that got me thinking about the ever-looming, indefinitely-under-construction parking garage.
The last thing I heard about this massive project that we’re paying for is the possibility of a sign that would display the amount of spots still available for people to park.
Although my initial reaction to this news was to run around campus screaming “THE FUTURE IS HERE!”, I have dialed back the enthusiasm to raise some issues that I still have with the parking garage plan as it is.
1. The “not seeing the whole picture” problem:
Picture for me, if you will, this all-knowing, majestic sign above the parking garage as you are driving into campus on a Monday morning.
Picture the neon lights beckoning to you with the words “13 spots open.”
Picture yourself confidently stepping on the gas up the ramp to the first level … and seeing a line full of tail lights immediately upon rounding the first corner.
I don’t have to write any more imagery because now you’re picturing yourself screaming and throwing your coffee out the window, which a campus officer happens to see.
He runs over to talk to you, but you panic and think you’re going to be arrested.
Now your morning has turned into a choice of whether you should spend the day in the public safety office or try and make the jump out the window and run for it.
Of course you’d then have to change your name and enroll in a different university and MY, isn’t this a slippery slope we’ve gone down!
All fallacies of logic aside though, I can imagine nothing more annoying than thinking I’ve got a parking spot, only be turning my wheels back down the ramp, already late for class.
2. The “lesser of two evils” problem:
Our writer Josh Wallen touched on the location of the parking garage in one of his articles earlier this year, and I’m inclined to agree with him.
If I am running late to class, the last thing I want to do is wonder if there are a few spots in the lot closer to my class, when I already know there is somewhere to park in the garage further away.
Where the garage is going is simply not close to my classes. There has been a discussion of adding the “spots available” technology to other large lots as well, and that makes sense to me.
Except that now I’ve got two signs to drive around and read signs in two different parts of campus. Now if you can send me a text message with the spots open in each lot, then I’d be very interested.
3. The “out of my way” problem
You think the elevator is crowded now in the ordinary buildings?
I imagine it will be that much worse when there are 50 late students trying to make their way to class from the top level of a parking garage.
If there are stairs, I’m not actually sure that would be a better alternative.
Either way we’re talking about the possibility of several students trying to make their way to class through one limited route or the other, and personally, I’d much rather walk in a straight line from a little further away.
I know nothing is perfect. And a parking garage comes with its own problems, but these three should be considered before we start singing the praises of this thing.