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Parking solutions for students in need


October 24, 2013

BY Tara Harris

For the group of students who drive to school to attend classes, parking on Cleveland State’s campus may be a hassle for some. If a wad of cash was not shelled out at the beginning of the semester for a parking pass or to try their luck with a scratch off parking hangtag, finding a convenient parking spot may require a significant amount of time and effort.

Thankfully, there are a few places students can pay to park on campus and in the surrounding area of Cleveland State without a parking pass.

If you prefer to park at meters

There are 25 new electronic meters on the south side of the street on Chester from East 20th to East 22nd streets. The new meters accept both debit and credit cards with visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos. These new electronic meters were set in place by the city of Cleveland as a pilot program consisting of 90 days to see if the students would find them useful, according to Reginald Matthews the manager of on street parking for the City of Cleveland.

“These electronic meters are convenient but Cleveland State should have underground parking so everyone could park for free,” said Derek Cupach an environmental science major as he feeds the new meter.

The truth is that most of the meters found on Cleveland State’s campus offer parking with one-hour maximum parking limits, like the 27 meters in front of the Wolstein Center.

Thankfully, there are four-hour meters along East 18th street, starting between the law and business buildings. The string of meters continues to the intersection of East 21st and Payne, and down Chester all the way up to the recreation center.

Parking at one of these meters may allow students to remain more engaged in the classroom instead of constantly wor-rying about the adverse effects of being parked next to an expired meter.

“I think it’s fair to pay, but the amount [st-udents] must cough up for a parking pass is ridiculous. The worst part is that they’re not even guaranteed a spot,” said Chelsea Bride, advertising ma-jor who parks on campus twice a week.

Bride prefers to park at meters because she has evening classes and the meters aren’t monitored past 6:30pm.

“I have night classes and the only parking I can find is typically is on Payne between 21st and 25th,” she said. “I usually have to drive around till I see a spot and sometimes I park further away than I’d like.”

If you prefer to park in parking lots

There are multiple private parking lots close to campus. A few are on Carnegie across from the Wolstein center. One lot is $4 for the entire day and has over 100 parking spaces. Also, there is a lot next to that one which is $3 for the whole day and has 80 spaces.

There is a third lot adjacent to that one which is also $3 for all day, but only holds about 50 spaces.

Dave Fergusson, accounting major who parks at the private lot across from Wolstein center would prefer to park at meters if they had a grace period because “It would be helpful so we [students] wouldn’t have to rush to the car right after class,” he said.

If you prefer to park in a garage

Cleveland State allows students to park in certain garages for an hourly rate with restrictions. (Visit the Parking tab on Cleveland State’s website for more information). Often times when there are events partaking on or nearby campus, some garages may be closed to accommodate the attendees of said events.

It is unfortunate that in addition to maintaining the level of discipline that being a successful student requires, students have to muster up the energy to obtain parking spots.

“The parking passes are way too expensive, if I’m running low on money one week, it’s cheaper for me to stay at home and skip class, said Caitlin Jones, senior anthropology major, who parks on campus five days a week. “It’s also unreliable about where you’ll be able to park and I had horrible experiences parking…or trying to park, I should say, in the designated garages the few times I’ve had a prepaid pass,” she said.

Students agree that parking passes aren’t very affordable and pose other problems and are full of good suggestions on how to improve parking at Cleveland State.

“Parking passes should be cheaper; significantly cheaper. There was a student in one of my classes who ended up dropping because he couldn’t afford to pay for parking; and that’s just not fair. Truthfully I can’t afford to pay for parking on campus either and it’s really stressing me out. I spend $30 a week paying for parking. That’s over $540 a semester. It’s absurd,” said Peacenlyn Wells, linguistics major.

“Prices need to be streamlined. Speaking specifically about parking meters, there is an astronomical difference between using a meter on Chester Ave than using a meter within the boundaries of campus such as the meters by Health Sciences.  We’re talking about a quarter getting 30 minutes on Chester Ave compared to less than 15 minutes within campus,” said Jones. 

“It is just not convenient to park. “I transferred from the University of Akron and everyone parked for free and there is not a lot of parking close to the main campus here, there should be a free parking deck close to campus,” said Fergusson.

It is well known that students consider the parking situation on campus a problem and are eager to alleviate stress when given the opportunity to vent and express their emotions.

“This college makes enough money from us as it is. I’m a transfer student from LCCC. There are $13,000 students who attend that community college and parking is free. Wells said, “When I was a student there, I attend a number of President forums and he has stated many times that parking is free and will remain free because students shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to attend class because they don’t have money for parking.”

“I think that parking should be able to be grouped into tuition. I think it’s stupid that they charge a mandatory $25 dollars for a RTA pass that a lot of students don’t even use, I would rather have that money put towards parking. Parking at Cleveland State is just a mess,” said Jones.

Parking passes also aren’t worth buying if students are only on campus a couple times a week for a couple hours.

“Parking in the evening during the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. is a total nightmare. All of the TESOL Teacher Education classes are in the evening, because this class includes Graduate Students who work doing the day. Also, some of them are only on campus one night a week, so why buy a parking pass?” Wells said, “So all of them including myself park in the Main Garage, however this poses a problem because there aren’t enough spaces for all of us night students to park.”

She continued to say, “I don’t have a parking pass either, so I use the MG pay lot and there have been many nights where I’ve had to literally drive around in circles looking for a spot up to 30 or more minutes are wasted doing this. This has caused me to be late to class; this has also caused me stress. There have been times where, I drove around in circles, in the garage, that I got a headache and went home; in turn missing my night class. It’s like this every semester in the MG Garage for the night class students who don’t have parking passes.”

Students also mention the fact of from receiving parking tickets due to the parking time restriction.

“I have gotten a parking ticket for parking meter time expired. I have two tickets now in the office that I have to pay,” Wells said.

“I sometimes use the hourly lot underneath the student center.  My last class ran a few minutes late due to an exam, and I got back to my car five minutes late to find a ticket already on my windshield,” said Jones.

Free parking Options

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for parking for free unless you want to want to walk a great distance or are able to park in the evenings or weekends at meters.

Payne Avenue near the Asian market offers free parking and
Street meters are free after 6:30 Monday through Friday and all day on weekends

The parking director of Cleveland State, Ben Rogers, said he is short staffed and does not have time to answer any questions or make any comments at this time.