“THERE IS NO PARKING SPOTS.” A lovely subject line that started the email from campus security. It continues by stating, “Not finding a parking spot in a parking lot you desire…does not allow to park in other restricted areas. These appeals WILL NOT be accepted”. While, valid, that still does not mean there is enough parking… or is there?
As we begin this new school year, Northwestern has taken pride in sharing that this year’s freshman class has been one of the largest classes to come in. This is great and we love to see the community grow. However, this also presents challenges of its own which include parking. The first couple of weeks after classes began, I struggled to find a parking spot. Of course, I wanted a parking spot in “heaven,” but I found myself parking in “hell” most of the time. Let me tell you that this “heaven, purgatory, and hell” joke is much funnier when you are not a part of it. However, even while driving around “hell” trying to find a parking spot I noticed some weird gaps within certain parking spots or parking spots that were a tad too small for my little car to fit into. There were times where I could not even park in “hell” and had to park in another parking lot that most likely also caused someone to not finding parking in their usual lot. So, the question I pose is this: Do we need more parking or do people just need to learn how to park better?
I’d say it is a mixture of both. I understand that, according to campus security, there should be enough space for all of us to park at least somewhere, but I can’t help but argue that there are more parking lots that could potentially be open or redone.
One of the parking lots I am thinking of is Kepp Hall. This parking lot is meant for visitors and/or commuters but I have almost always seen Kepp Hall with enough space for all of us. In addition, I think that a row or two should be added to Fern’s parking lot for students as that parking lot is already so big. I know we must think of staff and faculty members as well, but honestly, it would just help the overnight situation. Another solution would be to redo the “hell” parking lot and instead of having gravel, having actual cement and lines could solve a lot of space and time.
In having actual cement and lines, people would know where and how to park better—for the most part. I know some students would still have a hard time in knowing how to park properly, but at least then we could tell what spaces were open instead of trying to squeeze into too small of spaces or park in an invalid parking spot. Plus, we should invest in better lighting in the way back of these parking lots as sometimes students cannot see who is around the corner.
At the end of the day, I think we can come to a compromise about parking, but my question still stands: Do we need more parking or do students just need to learn how to park better?