By: TAYLOR HILL
Parking was especially bad on the first week of classes this semester. With students unsure of where to go, not having parking passes, and lots filled, many flooded the street parking areas, both legally and illegally.
Residents complained about their street parking being taken. Local police reportedly had initial sympathy for students, and did not ticket on Monday of the first week of the semester. However, because of the concerns of the local community, ticketing and towing began on Tuesday. The Daily Titan sent out emails warning students. Parking services were not involved with the ticketing.
Students have complained both recently, and in the past about needing new lots.
“As of right now, I am unaware of any plans for new parking lots,” said Catherine Lass, head of Parking services. Lass warned that new parking lots may take money away from redoing parking lots, fixing lighting, potholes, and plowing. “This is the only spot that will take care of the campus,” Lass stated.
What she means by this is that any money to take care of parking comes directly from the sales of parking passes, and from tickets. Plowing during the polar vortex last year cost parking thousands of dollars.
Another complication is that parking passes are sold out. “It’s a Bloomington thing’,’ she explained.
Essentially, Bloomington is supposed to send IU South Bend parking passes, but this year not enough were ordered. Currently, passes can’t be bought online, only in person through the parking office. Semester passes are $77 and a year pass is $160. Some may notice that the price of single semester passes has risen since last year, previously having cost $65.
Also mentioned by Lass was the issue of students buying the wrong parking passes, then needing to switch them out. Because of the way they’re printed on to be individually identified, this takes up two parking passes. The parking services offices ask that students consider their needs before buying.
As far as the solutions offered Lass suggested, “Try to carpool. Not only is it good for our environment, but it helps you out.”
Other alternatives include walking, biking, or using public transportation. Once the seasons change those options will be significantly limited. For many carpooling may be the only viable alternative to driving themselves. Some may have no alternative.
As a majority commuter college, that includes many students. For now, try to get to campus as early as you can, take advantage of the available parking along Northside, and hope you can snag a spot.
To buy your parking pass you can visit the Parking Services Office in room 112, located in the Administration Building. You can contact Parking Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (574) 520-5528. The office hours are Mon.-Thurs. 8 AM to 12:50 PM, then 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM. They are also open Friday 8 AM to 3 PM.