By Lindsay Sax
I’ve spent $582 on parking permits over four years, then another $480 my boss spent for two years when I worked on campus. In those years I like to say I earned a minor in aggressive parking at KU. You know what that money got me? A walk up a giant mountain, in the middle of the night to my dorm room; a race up another mountain like hill, just to hike some stairs to be just in time to be all sweaty to give a weather briefing. In short, nothing good.
I’m not ashamed to say I have followed people around the lot and cut in front of cars when I saw a spot open up. I have used these skills parking at events, the mall, and black Friday. They have come in handy, but I have never used them here at the college.
From my perspective, parking is not a problem. I have never had to hunt for a parking spot, stalk a stranger, or cut off other cars. I actually park in pretty much the same spot every Tuesday and Thursday. You know that giant parking lot by the parking garage at Galileo’s Garden, yeah, it’s there. I usually see spaces when coming and going at various hours. Oh, but you don’t want to park there because it’s a far walk to your class?
The walk from this lot to the student center isn’t far. I do it in not even 10 minutes. The walk from the closest spot at KU to my class buildings was at least 15 minutes, and that’s up a small mountain. The college is flat, and I am grateful for that.
What if it’s raining and cold? There is a nifty thing about the college; the bridges from one main building to another are all pretty amazing. Grab your umbrella or coat, run into the parking garage and stroll onto class.
KU oversells parking permits, and they admit it. It’s probably just a way to get more money out of you. I have learned firsthand the consequences of coming back to the dorm late at night and all the parking spots are taken. The overflow lot was located down another small mountain at the football stadium. According to MapQuest that’s .17 miles and should take four minutes. But it’s up a hill, and doesn’t take four minutes any day of the week, whatever time of day. Walking in the dark alone in a new city, when you thought you had a permit and therefore a parking spot — now that’s a parking problem, and probably why my mom bought me pepper spray.
We as students need to embrace what we have here; awesome skywalks to keep us warm and dry, free and available parking. It’s not always greener on the other side. Because, on the other side, KU parking is a lion and treats you like a gazelle, waiting to make a kill, to tell you, nope it’s a game day, you can’t park here where your permit says you can, take your cash, and give you a million tickets. One million is their quota for a day, has to be.
Contact Lindsay Sax, copy editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.