How to keep your paint one color, NIU parking tips

By Aaron Brooks

The primal pavements of the parking lots are NIU’s ghetto. Commuter students are pinned against one and other to compete for a limited resource: a parking spot. “The man” tells us that there are plenty of parking spots to go around. We must work with what we have. The following are five rules to help keep students safe and sane when parking.

Rule No. 1: Drive slow

The parking garage and lots are not a rally track. If you are running late for class, then you should have left your house 5 minutes earlier; drifting around corners is not the solution.

Rule No. 2: Arrive early

Parking has a reliable time cycle. For example, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you can expect the parking garage to become very busy 10 minutes before the start of a new hour. Plan ahead when driving to school. Don’t be a part of the traffic jam. It’s easier to wake up 20 minutes early.

Rule No. 3: Do not be lazy

It is irritating if you hold up the flow of traffic because you see someone walking in your direction. If they are not at their car then move along. Sorry if you have to walk a few more yards, but it will not kill you.

Rule No. 4: Be courteous

The golden rule to claiming a spot is it is yours if your car has not completely passed the car parked. For example, the car ahead of you stops right behind a car which just began backing up. The person in the car ahead of you signals they wish to back up and take the spot. Instead of pulling up to make it impossible for them to back up, be courteous and make room.

Rule No. 5: Own your accidents

My driver’s ed. instructor was a hard-nosed man. He once said, “There are no accidents, only collisions. And collisions are caused by idiots not paying attention.” I do not endorse his belief. I understand your attention may have lapsed or you misjudged the distance between your car and mine. All I ask is for you to own your mistake.

Ideally, call the police and make an accident report. Or a note with your name and insurance information would also be fine. Hell, if you do not have insurance at least a note saying “sorry.” But when I do not get anything, not even a sorry, that makes me want to walk around the parking garage looking for a car with my car’s paint on it.

Unity is a must for orderly parking. We cannot literally and figuratively when we are all trying to go to or get away from the same place. Be vigilant not only for your safety and property, but others around you as well. And if anyone sees a white car with red paint on it, please let me know.