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Op-Ed: Parking system a nightmare

By Kristen Mott

February 2, 2012

No matter how much Cleveland State expands and improves, one issue always seems to remain present: parking.

For a mostly commuter campus, parking is a top priority. Thousands of students drive to campus every day, searching relentlessly for the perfect parking spot.

With the recent closing of Lot J and parts of Lots S3 and S2, this search has turned into a nightmare for students.

Every morning and afternoon, lines of cars can be seen stuck in traffic on Euclid and Chester Avenues. Some mornings the traffic is so backed up that cars cannot even move through traffic lights.

The streets aren’t the only spots with traffic jams. Cars line up outside parking garages, waiting patiently (or, more often, impatiently) for one car to leave the garage so they can enter. Playing the waiting game shouldn’t be a daily part of going to school.

CSU continuously tells students that spaces are available in Lot AA outside the Cole Center and in the South Garage by the Wolstein Center. These reports are true—I’ve noticed that on most days these lots are virtually empty and spots can easily be found.
However, with last semester’s slew of attacks and robberies, I doubt students are willing to walk to either of these lots, especially at night. I personally will not be walking to either of these locations after dark.

Besides, if all students are directed to park in these two lots, these locations will eventually be filled to the brim with cars too.

In addition to the chaos on the streets, the Parking Department’s system of distributing parking hang tags needs to be revamped.

There is a total of approximately 4,384 available parking spaces on campus, yet 6,500 prepaid parking hang tags have been purchased and distributed for the spring semester.

Why would 2,000 more hang tags be given out when it is known that spaces will not be available?

The recent increase in price for a prepaid parking hang tag is also adding fuel to the fire. With students paying $205.25 for a hang tag, they should easily be able to find a parking space.

Instead, students are left with no place to park and a hangtag that is rendered useless.
There’s no way to sugar coat this issue—the parking system at CSU is currently a mess. With Lot 55 and parts of Lot S1 closing in the near future, the situation is sure to only get worse.

The campus cannot continue to eliminate parking spaces, especially on a commuter campus. And prepaid hang tags cannot continue to be sold when it is clear that there are not enough spots available.

Students should not have an added stress of trying to find a parking space when they’re already stressed with classes.

Until CSU finds a solution to this problem, there are going to be a lot of frustrated, and late, students in class.