Parking talk

This letter is about one of the commuting students’ favorite subjects—parking.

First, I would agree with most of what Tricia Nootens said in her letter to the editor on Feb. 11. Available parking during the day for commuting students is a joke, even with a permit. I also have stopped buying the permit because the yellow lot just northwest of Wirtz Hall is always full. Often, I’ve joined fellow commuters stalking down students walking through the lot, hoping to get their spots. One of the available alternatives, the visitors’ lot, is usually full on days when it rains or snows.

Second, regarding the parking survey currently underway by Walker Parking Consultants and Engineers, I was a participant on Tuesday, and if my experience was typical, the whole thing may be pretty useless and pointless. My interviewer was mainly interested in just filling out another line on her page. She asked what times I arrived on and left the campus. When I answered it was different times each day, she and her survey form could not deal with it. What she did was come up with a sort of average time that was totally inaccurate. She was apparently getting paid for the number of students she could include in her survey, rather than for getting valid, usable data; she seemed quite anxious to talk to as many people as possible.

It would be nice to feel that NIU money being used to fund this study is not just being sucked down the drain with no real benefit to students (like so many other things).

Third, why does the entire parking lot west of DuSable have to be closed off to students every night we have a basketball game? Can’t a small section be made available to students who have an evening class in DuSable or other nearby buildings?

Fourth, once last year when the commuter lot northwest of Wirtz was full, I ventured into the adjoining faculty lot and parked there, as I didn’t want to be late for my class. When I got back an hour and a half later, I had a ticket. The time indicated that I had received it 3 minutes after I had parked. The parking patrol is to be commended for their efficiency. If half as much effort and dedication were expended to solve the parking shortages as there is expended in finding violations of petty parking offenses, the entire student body would have parking spaces in no time.

The only thing I would disagree with Tricia Nootens about is the people in Parking Services. Each time I have had to deal with them, they have been courteous and responsive.

Larry Pascoe