Be considerate of others when parking in the parking garages

February 28, 2017

Mara Green

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     Some would agree that the best way out of a 15-minute walk to class is finding any space in the parking garage that’s relatively close to the center of campus.

     In the case of some, it’s considered far easier to make your way into whatever open space suits you.

     I drive a car that is a little larger than a Smart car, and is the definition of compact. Normally this would guarantee me a decent space anywhere on campus. It’s small enough to leave room on both sides, and my tail end doesn’t stick out into oncoming traffic.

     But students with large, hefty vehicles like to park in areas that are designated for compact cars.

     A Ford F-150 with a trailer hitch is not compact, no matter how well you park it.

     It’s a hassle having to drive around looking for a spot at the cost of getting a nice dent in my door.

     I’ve even found myself crawling out the backseat of my hatchback because I was incapable of pulling off a safe three-point turn.

     I haven’t been the only one with complaints, and as much as I’ve been contemplating leaving a strongly-worded note, there is another option for students.

     Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services, recognized that there are violations that parking enforcement will not see or get to.

     Spice explained in an email that students are capable of sending violators’ license plate numbers to Parking and Transportation, but limited staffing causes a slow response.

     There happens to be good news on the horizon for irritated students and parking enforcement: the License Plate Recognition Program.

     Some may know about this and are ruing the day it arrives. This system is an effort to make writing violations easier and more accurate for campus safety and transportation. Spice then mentioned that his hope is that once the LPR system is in place, that parking enforcement will have more time to enforce all violations.

     I would love to say that not everyone on campus is selfish, but the fact is that we find ourselves parking the way we do only to benefit ourselves. As the clock ticks faster to class, we begin to look more toward our own self-interest.

     But this mentality reflects negatively in our personal lives, too.

     It’s only natural that we want to increase our advantages. But denying that there are any victims as a result of our actions is a selfish way to make ourselves feel better.

     Standford researchers who contributed to a study in “Psychological Science,” found that students are more likely to be motivated if they are acting independently and if their actions will benefit themselves.

     We act in our own best efforts and work with others if the outcome positively benefits us as well.

     In this case, parking in compact spaces is generally beneficial to you unless someone writes you a note saying otherwise, or worse, reports you.

     As people of higher learning, we should be beyond this trivial, selfish attitude.

     I know the parking permits are expensive, but if you’re getting tickets every week that you’re in school, it would only benefit to think of buying the permit and investing a little more time before coming into class.

     I find myself looking toward parking with a positive light in hopes that I’ll no longer have to climb out of the back of my car or exit my level of the parking garage in reverse.