Editorial: Parking problems need fixes

Commuter parking has been an issue this semester.

Parking Services sold a large number of passes to commuters this semester, which is the department’s job — but it has caused higher demand for available spaces.

According to a Monday article in the Northern Star, nearly 200 parking spots are set to be created when Parking Services changes lots 40 and 9 from blue to yellow. Sixteen spaces in Lot E will open up to yellow passes, as well as 16 more on the east island.

Adding more spots is a step in the right direction, and Parking Services Director Scott Kangas said plans are in place to open lots K and L, which will add more than 300 spaces.

Elizabeth Espe, assistant coordinator of parking and traffic, and Kangas said there are also numerous blue lots that are available for student parking after 4 p.m.

“Things will change next week when we open over 300 spaces,” Kangas said.

Creating more spaces will surely benefit many commuters. Parking Services is doing well with adjusting parking lots and finding more spaces for commuters to use.

But with Parking Services selling nearly 500 more yellow passes this year than it did last year, adding more spaces won’t be enough.

Espe said there are two supervisors, herself included, who answer telephone calls from students who cannot find parking.

The supervisors then communicate with Parking Services employees to determine which lots are full and which still have spaces, and inform the student which lots are available, if any.

Parking Services has no plans to grow the direct calls into a program to help students find parking spaces.

If Parking Services has no plans to increase its availability for student phone calls, there ought to be more employees directing students in and out of parking lots.

Kangas talked about alternatives, like utilizing spaces near the Convocation Center for cheaper parking.

He also suggested students not rely on parking at yellow lots near their classes to relieve tension on campus. Parking at the Convocation Center is worth considering, but it is closer to residence halls than campus buildings.

These students may be coming to class between hectic work schedules and driving long distances to and from DeKalb.

The Northern Star Editorial Board believes Parking Services should focus more resources on taking direct phone calls from students to better help them find open spaces.

More than anything, Parking Services should be accessible to student communication, especially during campus rushes to find parking during the day.

Adding spaces won’t completely solve the issues students are having with parking; it will only cause temporary satisfaction.