Commuter students aggravated by inconsistent parking situation

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During all the construction students are frustrated by the parking situation

Ariel Bobrick
abobrick@radford.edu

Parking is a common issue across campuses nationwide, and Radford University is in no way an exception to the problem. Many students and faculty campus wide are complaining about the crowded parking situation here at Radford University. As one is walking to class, it is not uncommon to see a line of vehicles filled with disgruntled faces that belong to students and teachers, all waiting for a parking spot in the Moffett Lot (Lot M) where faculty are now permitted to park as well as commuters.

Commuters may park in Lot K on Main Street, Lot M on Calhoun, Lot C south of Main Street, Lot D off Lawrence, Lot E off University Drive, Lot BL in Burlington Lot, the corner of Downey and Burlington near the art annex; all of which are also shared by faculty. Most commuter students are most likely unaware of where exactly they can park legally due to sitting and waiting for a convenient space so they won’t have to trek so far back and forth to their classes. Commuter permits are currently $70 for the year and $35 for the spring semester.

When one purchases his or her permit, it is made very clear the rules and regulations that follow on Radford University’s website:“Money paid for a parking permit does not guarantee or reserve a specific parking space. The responsibility for finding a legal parking space rests with the vehicle operator.  Lack of space or lack of convenient space is not considered a valid excuse for violation of these regulations by any person operating a motor vehicle on university property.”

This would seem to be a fair regulation, but it is not realistic in many students’ eyes, because of the extreme inconvenience. And then there is the ticketing issue.

A faculty member, who wishes to remain anonymous, explains that, “Students will ask to leave my class early, or just get up and walk out because they need to move their car in order to avoid a ticket; this is ridiculous. I don’t appreciate my class being interrupted or my students missing part of class to move their vehicle, it is incredibly disruptive.”

When asked how long she had been waiting for a space, Senior Ananda Underwood explains that she gets to campus over 3 hours before her first class, just to find a parking space,

“I commute 4 days out of the week from Floyd and get here at 9:30 in the morning every day in order to get a space for my class at 12 it’s so crowded and I can’t believe I paid $70 for pure inconvenience that wasn’t even included in my tuition,” said Amanda Underwood.

Underwood also complains about when she can’t find a space, she will leave class early to avoid a ticket.

“The way I look at it I already paid the $70, and now an extra 30 for a ticket, and I have a small child to pick up from daycare, who charges $15 if I am late picking him up, due to having to park so far away from my classes.” Underwood said.

It isn’t the money so much that people are concerned about, it’s more so the frustration and anxiety of trying to find a space and get to class on time. Students should not have to take away from their education time in order to move a vehicle to avoid penalties.

Some students have suggested either a parking garage or working something out with the City of Radford Police Department in allowing commuters to park in neighborhoods along the streets, accommodating those who drive from various places in the New River Valley, some 40 minutes away or longer.

Another suggestion was that perhaps freshman students living on campus would not be permitted in the future to bring vehicles, as most schools across Virginia do to save space.