This just in: Yes, there is enough parking

The first weeks of the semester came and went, and once again the campus underwent parking problems. And, once again, those problems were not necessary. Believe it or not, there is enough parking on campus. It may be hard to find, and you may need to drive to outskirts of campus, but it is there. Just because you can’t park in the lot closest to your class doesn’t mean parking isn’t available.

The university promises you a spot, but it’s like going to the movie theater. You are promised a spot there too, but it may not be the one you want because someone got the spot you wanted first. That is not the universities fault.

It comes down to each person realizing that driving around the commuter lot for 20 minutes is not the best way to find a spot. You just need to go look in the intramural lot across Willow Avenue.

Not to mention the money the university is spending to keep the shuttles running throughout the day.

I am sure many of you have friends who go to larger schools, such as the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Ask them sometime how the parking situation is there. After my experiences trying to find a spot there, I decided to never complain about Tech again.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the proposed solutions.

One idea that comes up fairly often is building a parking garage. Unfortunately, this is as about as pie in the sky as they come. This would create numerous parking spots, but at a high cost. It’s been estimated that students would have to pay either a per-use fee or parking pass prices would quadruple to be able to afford the structure.

Not to mention, where would people park while it is being built?

A better idea I’ve recently heard was to move all the parking off the main campus and turning the main commuter lot into another grassy quad. This is a great idea. Why? 1. Tech is the only non-urban campus I have ever seen with an ugly parking lot in the middle of campus. 2. Campus will be much safer for pedestrians because traffic will greatly decrease.

I believe there is enough parking, though I’ll admit, there is barely enough. Most of us can do something to alleviate the situation.

For example, if you live within one mile of campus, walk to classes. This is a healthier way to live that saves on a parking pass and opens up another spot for long distance commuters.

If you live two to five miles from campus, ride a bike. Believe it or not, this can be cheaper than the $50 you are shelling out for a pass. It just takes some effort.

Over the summer, I found a next-to-new bike at a yard sale for $35. The only repairs required a screwdriver and I bought a new chain and lock for it. The final price I paid was $48. I saved money compared to buying a commuter pass and have a healthier way to get to school and between classes.

If you pay attention while walking or riding to campus, you will be safe. Most accidents at Tech occur, as they do everywhere, because someone wasn’t paying attention. But, you can avoid one if you watch what is going on around you.

If you have to drive to campus, carpool. It’s a great way to save gas money and wear-and-tear on your car.

And, one final comment. Do not ever, EVER park on the grass on campus. I have been in landscaping positions before, and I can tell you how painstaking it is to repair damaged grass. Our maintenance workers bust their rear ends keeping this campus beautiful. Please, don’t make it harder on them.

So next time, instead of complaining that there is not enough parking, remember, you can do something to help make it easier, and yes, there is parking. You just have to find it.