There are other options for students having trouble parking

By Alyssa Pracz

It is never fun driving around the parking lot for a half hour looking for a parking spot in the winter.

If you are lucky enough to even get a spot, that does not guarantee that it will be plowed or free of ice. Since parking is limited and can be a nuisance during this time of year, students should consider other options.

Various passes are offered for students depending on their place of residence and where they have their classes.

But even if a student has a pass, that does not necessarily mean that they have a spot unless you go early; once the middle of the day comes around, there is a chance that finding a spot will be the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack.

Kristin Mommsen, director of Campus Parking Services, had some alternatives if you are not privileged enough to have a parking pass or if you have one and are having trouble finding a parking spot.

Parking Services offers a free program called “Borrow-a-Bike.” Although it probably won’t be as useful during the winter, it might be something to consider once the weather starts warming up. The “Borrow-a-Bike” program allows students and faculty members to borrow a bicycle free of charge for up to a semester at a time. It is obviously quicker than walking and it could even double as a convenient way of keeping up on your weekly exercise.

Mommsen suggests that other options could include parking in more remotely-located parking lots on the west side of campus and, of course, taking advantage of the Huskie Bus Line. Also, doing something as simple as carpooling can be a help. You do not need to worry about circling around looking for a parking spot and you and your friends can coordinate times to take turns dropping off and picking each other up from classes.

I personally think it would be a lot easier and more beneficial to students if another bigger parking lot was made available to students. As always, however, it is easier said than done.

“The funds to pay for parking lot maintenance, snow removal, parking lot repairs, resurfacing, painting, striping, equipment and office operational costs must come solely from revenue received at Parking Services,” Mommsen said.

This limits a lot of the possible changes so many of us want to see. Since Parking Services relies solely on students’ money from purchasing parking passes and paying parking tickets, there is no way to make the situation perfect for everyone.

At the very least, if you insist on trying to find ways around purchasing a parking pass, please pay off the inevitable parking tickets that you will accumulate. It could go a long way in funding that extra parking lot we have all been waiting for.