Every year I come to campus and hope for the same thing: an easier time parking. The University of Alabama has been one of the most quickly growing campuses in the nation in terms of student population, yet our parking situation fails to reflect this.
Some Tuscaloosa residents are worried there may be a predatory towing problem at a local apartment complex. Will Ledbetter, a junior, said he came out of a friend’s apartment one night last week at around 1 or 2 a.m. at The Avenue to find his and his friend’s cars gone.
I don’t care much about football. I know that’s a strange thing to say around here, but it’s true, and I can’t explain why. So on gamedays, I use my time to do other things. I go to the rec center, study at the library or visit with similarly-inclined friends.Or at least, I’d like to. But the sad fact of it is that it’s hard to do much of anything on a gameday that isn’t football-related. Gorgas is closed, as are both rec centers. Lakeside, Burke and Chick-Fil-A are almost the only places to eat. For the most part, if football is happening on campus, nothing else is.
Changes come with the start of each new school year, and parking permits are ?no exception.“This year, student commuter and faculty and staff permits increased by $20. Perimeter permits for students and faculty and staff increased by $10 and reserve permits increased by $30,” Chris D’Esposito, director of parking services, said.
I have come to realize that on-campus parking is in need of serious help. The University is lacking in available parking near and in front of dorms, which in turn leads to more students being fined for parking illegally or not in their zone. The Lakeside dorms are especially bad in terms of parking. There are around 100 spots in front of Lakeside West and East. Each dorm itself houses at least three times that amount. If students are not lucky enough to find a parking space in front of Lakeside, they must then park all the way over at the Ferguson Center or Ridgecrest parking deck. This is extremely inconvenient, especially since we all pay more than $200 to park close to our dorm. I know that if I have to go off campus, and I take my car, I will definitely not have my parking space when I return. Once I return, I end up spending at least 5-10 minutes searching for a parking space and then walking another 5-10 minutes to get back to my dorm. This may not seem like a big deal, but when I have to be in class at certain times, every minute counts. SoRelle Wyckoff came up with the idea of just telling people to walk to their classes to help with the parking issue. I agree that this is a good idea for most people, and I do walk to all of my classes instead of trying to drive to them. However, this still does not fix the problem of when people need to use their cars to go off campus and then return. I propose that the University start expanding the parking lots around Lakeside and make a parking lot where the pond is.
The University is now allowing anyone with a campus-parking pass to park at the Student Recreation Center on weekdays before 7 p.m., said James Fowler, SGA vice president for external affairs. Fowler said the change was made due to the high volume of student complaints, and because the parking lot generally was not filled to full capacity during the day. “We had a team that sat out for an entire week from 8 a.m.