Grinds my Gears: Parking 2.0

Parking. On everyday but Friday, arrive any time after 9:00 or 10:00, and it is a tossup as to whether or not you’ll acquire any decent space. I could understand that the early bird gets the worm and whatnot, but if you’re a late bird, one of your only choices is the back corner of the Ford lot or the dirt lot, and even those are full sometimes.

Word on the street is it is not getting any better either. Another one of our parking lots is going away soon to be replaced by a new residence hall. Lot B, or the lot surrounded by Elm Street, Weaver Hall, and Maple Hall, will soon be a new dormitory. This dorm will no doubt attract a new group of people to the campus, further adding to the number of cars on campus, while removing the spots for them. I understand why new dorms are being built. As state funding decreases, enrollment tuition needs to make up the difference. This can be done through either increasing the amount each student pays or through increasing the amount of students (or in our case, both). It is also evident that dorms and living conditions are one of the things that attract new students to come to Mines, while parking status is often overlooked.

It is time for something to be done. In response to my article last year, a no doubt well meaning and inspired student employee of parking services pointed out that a parking garage costs multiple thousands of dollars per space. While a parking garage represents an expensive endeavor, it is time for Mines to join the modern age of parking structures and go vertical. Even the retirement complex in Golden has a parking garage, and they only drive three times a week – to church, the farmer’s market, and the doctor. There has also been talk of restricting the number of freshman cars, or abolishing them altogether. Is this fair? Well, as referenced by our two candidates for president, one’s definition of “fair” can vary greatly. Either way, it would reduce the number of cars on campus.

Finding a good spot on the Mines campus is about as rare as a night where Snooki does not start a fight in a club or a song where 2 Chainz doesn’t yell his name. It does happen, but you rarely hear about it. Ultimately, something will have to be done to accommodate the increase in vehicles with the increase in enrollment and drop in parking space, but I have not seen any positive changes made.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what grinds my gears.

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