By Katerina Mansour, Staff Writer
As a student at UNCG you’re one of two things: a commuter or an on-campus resident. Between the two, are entirely different experiences in terms of parking. Yet both are far more painful than they should be. College parking sucks, nothing new here. But let’s not dismiss how needlessly terrible the UNCG parking experience is. There are many things about our experience as students here that are troublesome. Parking ranks near the top of the list and it shouldn’t be ignored. If you thought buying yourself that parking permit would solve all your daily problems think again.
The price of on-campus parking permit.
Some of the most common parking passes on campus are for “B” and “C” lots. “B” lots being for on-campus residents while “C” lots are for commuters. The annual cost for one of either of them is a whole $311 and there are permits that go up to $458. I personally paid $311 for a VB pass to park in Spartan Village. I live in Lee Hall and am continuously finding myself without a spot to park my car. Our parking lot is ridiculously small, and reaches capacity in a matter of seconds. In addition to this, there’s a full section of concrete in the parking lot closed off with poles, wasting space that could be used to make additional parking places. I think long and hard before using my car and coordinate errands as carefully as possible before exiting my parking space because I know when I return there most likely won’t be a spot in which to park. I might have luck if I drive to the other side of Union Hall to park at the opposite side of my actual apartment building. And though coordinating errands and saving on gasoline may be economically good, that does not address the seriousness of the issue at hand. Who wants to park in a neighboring lot when it’s literally freezing cold outside, and you paid $311 for what was supposed to allow you to park in the lot of your own building? Not to mention the safety issue of having to walk further to get to your building. A parking permit should GUARANTEE you a spot in the parking lot of the building in which you live, not a block or two over. Otherwise, what on earth is the point?
You must have a parking permit to park on campus.
In other words, if you’re a visitor or cannot afford a permit you’re pretty much screwed. Being that we have such a large student body and so many of us own cars, we can be grateful for this in many ways. By this I mean, that most of the time, our parking spots won’t be taken by people who have no right to park there. The parking tickets are quite expensive. However, this does create a tremendous struggle for friends or family when they want to visit or need to help with moving in, out or delivering heavy items. There are essentially no options in these cases but to have your visitors park in limited 3hour spots, which can be very hard to come by. Or, attempt to find a paying spot in a parking deck that is nowhere near the students dorm or the destination of the visitor. Both options are limited, restrictive, and extremely aggravating. I’m sure many of you have had family and friends express the extreme frustration of driving around forever trying to find a parking space without success. Even weekends are not immune to this problem, even though certain lots become open to all drivers. I experienced the same problems when living in Spring Garden Apartments where on weekends the lot would fill up because of sporting events and other weekend activities, leaving me with no choice but to go park in the Jefferson Suites lot.
Tickets, tickets everywhere!
I am constantly hearing people talk about how they got a ticket for accidentally parking somewhere they didn’t realize was restricted, or arriving a minute later than the designated limit, among many other horror stories. Both permit owners and visitors seem to face this issue on a regular basis, and UNCG does not seem to care either way.
UNCG has been expanding all over the place. With their new gym under construction and their many other plans for new dorms, etc. A very small percentage of effort seems to be put forward in terms of ameliorating the ridiculous parking situation.
Build more parking lots UNCG. Build actual visitor parking lots. Spread awareness about which type of parking lots are located in which areas of campus. Most people have no clue about half of the parking that exists on campus nor the rules and restrictions that go with them. If you’re going to charge us hundreds of dollars annually on top of our tuition, make it worth our money. I know many commuters who sign up for parking passes through outside parties that are more affordable in locations that are not necessarily convenient, but I don’t blame them. My VB pass for Spartan Village is completely useless if I want to park anywhere else on campus. It’s not like our campus is small, and it’s not like Greensboro is either. Cars are a necessary thing in this city, and public transportation is nowhere near as good as it should be. We shouldn’t have to go through the nightmare that is on-campus parking.