Be a part of green solution to campus parking problems

Parking on campus sucks. I think everyone can agree that parking at Tech is one thing that just isn’t up to par. This isn’t because there aren’t parking spaces everywhere. Half of campus looks like a parking lot. I think the problem is that a lot of people commute from home, and we simply have too many vehicles trying to occupy the same spaces.

Bike riding is more common this year, or it seems that way. Bike racks are full. I also see more people hoofing it to class.

I walk everyday because I live near campus, and looking for a spot would be pointless. I`m fine with walking everywhere most of the time, but sometimes (okay usually) I am late leaving my home. And if I had transportation, I would be in class on time. But because I walk to class, I am usually really late when this happens.

My chronic tardiness is only a side note to the fact that there are a lot of walkers on campus now, and there is a simple solution to help out the walking folks: a bike share.

A bike share, in our case, would be a program in which the University offers communal bikes to its students to ride on campus.

People who usually walk see a free Tech bike and ride to their next class. Once there, they leave it in an available bike rack for the next person to use. It saves a lot of time and would be really convenient for students.

A lot of big cities have these kinds of programs and some other universities in Tennessee are also getting on board with the idea. Tech’s Green Committee will be working on something similar this year.

Every year, there are quite a few bikes left unclaimed, and they are all just sitting in basements of resident halls. Student volunteers will help repair and paint them to look like Tech property (purple and gold) to help prevent theft.

We also need to have more bike racks because, by my estimation, this project will start with at least 20 bikes. This project is in the final stages of completion, according to Josh Donegan, Green Committee chairman.

You may not be thinking about where the funding will come from, but the Green Committee is. Every year you pay an $8 green free, $16 if you’re an out-of-state student.

Where is the money going at the moment? We don’t know yet. The Committee makes proposals, but at the moment it seems the funds aren’t being utilized. If we, students, are funding these efforts, we should have a say in what happens to our money.

This is not the only project the Green Committee is working on at the moment. So if bikes aren’t your thing, you can always get involved in another way. The recycling program will also be getting a make-over. Another worthy cause.

I encourage you to volunteer to help, go to a Green Committee meeting, or just use your voice to let people know what is being done to keep Tech green.

This weekend at Dog-wood Park, there will be an opportunity for you to listen to some good music and learn more about what you can do to keep Tech as green as possible at 10/10/10, an event that the Green Committee holds every year.

The event name has an interesting story. If you go, make sure to ask some of the committee members to tell you its significance.