24 August 2011

Parking Perilous

The university parking situation is ridiculous in and of itself (too many cars, not enough spots, lax monitoring, etc.). But the parking department has made it worse by not having its act together as this semester starts. We're finishing the first week of classes, our permits from last year have been expired since Aug. 14, and the department has NO NEW permits yet to distribute. I was able to get a temporary pass (because someone in my office is a nervous nelly and didn't want to take the chance at getting a ticket), although the university did send out an email (which I only saw b/c of good old Shawn) about no tickets being issued to legally parked cars in the student lots until after Labor Day. That means presumably they'll get the passes in next week/before the labor day holiday. My temporary pass is good until December, so I can wait until the traffic thins out to get my real pass. The department also tells its callers to "check our website for updates," and their site hasn't been updated in ages. Even if it has, none of the information is about parking permits -- not even the content of the mass email about no tickets until after Labor Day. Seems pretty typical for this ... place.

Most of my coworkers pay $250 per year to have a parking spot closer to our building. I've just been parking in the free student lot that's across the street. Probably a 5 minute walk if I'm doing it leisurely. I was joking with one of my coworkers that Shawn didn't want me to get the closer-in pass because I need the exercise. The coworker was appalled, even though I was laughing. It's true I need the exercise (and a lot more than that), but that's not the real reason I don't spring for the pass. It's really me being cheap -- why pay for something that I can have for free? It is a little more frustrating to find a spot during really busy times (say if you need to leave for lunch and come back after). But it is what it is. I wish my employer just paid for it (especially because our rent in this building is so low), but they do not.

One thing that could sway me to pay for the closer spot is the fact that sometimes when crossing the road to the other parking lot cars nearly mow me down. It has been worse this week since school is back in session. Pedestrians have the right of way, and I'm even in a cross walk. There's something so unnerving about a car speeding behind you or in front of you when you're halfway through the walk. I really think cars should wait until you're completely across before proceeding into the crosswalk, at least at breakneck speeds. What if I suddenly turned around or tripped forward? I shudder to think about the near misses I've had, and the obnoxious teenagers speeding by on their cell phones, oblivious, just as they are when they're the pedestrians and walk out in the crosswalk without looking. It's a wonder there aren't more accidents, especially on this particular road at the edge of campus. I would think a few days of regular monitoring and tickets for speeders could help things -- but obviously the parking/police department at this university has better things to do than assure my safe crossing...

3 comments:

Katie said...

AMEN!

Sydney said...

I wonder if you could get one of those signs that crossing guards carry to stop traffic while kids cross the street.

Mari said...

Good idea -- or carry a neon flag. There was a cross walk in Florida by the beach that had those available for pedestrians. What a lot of trouble though ...