Unpopular parking opinion: The meters are fine

The parking garage located just south of the Rhatigan Student Center will transition to pay-by-hour parking May 13.

Brian Hayes

The parking garage located just south of the Rhatigan Student Center will transition to pay-by-hour parking May 13.

The fight to park on campus has become even more aggressive this school year.

For many commuter students returning to school this semester, the urge to turn off of Perimeter Road into the garage is ever-present, but most of us resist on a daily basis.

The second and third floors of the parking garage located in front of the Rhatigan Student Center were open to both students and faculty during the 2017-2018 academic year, but switched to metered visitor parking during the summer. While this may seem like a middle finger from the administration towards the already parking lot-deprived student body, the move was 100 percent necessary.

For one, the garage was always meant to house-metered visitor parking — and for good reason. Parking for non-scheduled visitors was extremely limited in the days before the garage, with fewer than 10 spots in front of Ahlberg Hall making up the entirety of the visitor parking on campus.

To make matters worse, all of those spots have a thirty-minute time limit, meaning that any person visiting campus for more than a half hour would have to schedule in advance and purchase a visitor parking pass, which, to be honest, no one wants to do.

Not only would allowing students to park in the garage for free cost the university money by way of parking meter fees, but it would also nullify the purpose of the parking garage. If you ever tried to get a spot in the garage between about 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. last semester, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you came onto campus at noon on a weekday last year and didn’t have to make the walk of shame from Eck Stadium, I sincerely hope you bought a lottery ticket with your level of luck.

Additionally, hundreds of spots a mere five minutes from campus are completely free. The lot at Hughes Metroplex is ideal for commuter students with midday classes, with the university even offering free shuttle services that operate along the mile between campus and the Metroplex.

Perhaps most importantly in the consideration of this topic is the fact that building the garage took away a total of zero student parking spots. Most, if not all, of my peers that I have discussed this topic with seem to feel as if they had something taken away from them. The fact of the matter is that it was never ours to begin with.