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Opinion

Parking problem persists on campus

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September 30, 2011

This school year was the first year that I brought a car to school. I was so excited. I was finally going to have more freedom. I was going to be able to find a job and go home on the weekends on my own time, not on my parents’ time. Having a car is going to be wonderful. Although one problem may end up being a huge buzz kill, and that problem is the parking!

Parking has become a huge hassle on campus. Yes, it makes sense that only students with a housing contract should have access to student parking lots, but what about the rest of us? Commuter students have to park way over by Ramer Field and can’t even park there overnight. What if they don’t feel like driving home? What if they have a project to work on with a friend that is due the next day? Too bad. They have to move their car to a “car friendly” spot by campus.

There are so many streets in River Falls with parking restrictions. Many say, NO PARKING 1 a.m- 6 a.m. Others say, NO PARKING 7 a.m to 4 p.m, or NO PARKING 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. It just isn’t fair. Many students have to trek to cars, blocks away from their apartments or dorms. I am speaking from personal experience. I live in apartments that only give out parking passes based on how many bedrooms each apartment has. Seems fair, right? Again, it makes sense, but I feel that they could make room for a few more cars. Having to hike to and from my car or going to check on my car is just plain annoying.

Next, I read online that people can obtain parking passes in order to park on certain streets with restrictions. I filled out the required form, and brought my driver’s license and a copy of my lease to the police station, all set to get a parking pass so I could park closer to my apartment. Turns out, the street I live on is not one of the available streets, so I could not get one. I also contacted the UW-River Falls parking office to see if I could buy a parking pass, but the best they could give me was a commuter’s pass and, like stated before, that is way over by Ramer Field. Will parking ever become easy?

I understand that I may just be overreacting in regards to the issue of student parking on campus, but it is frustrating. If readers have the same problem, I’m sure they will understand where I am coming from. This being a college town, the city of River Falls should work to be able to open up more streets for overnight parking. It is hard on us as students, too. UWRF should also issue overnight parking for commuters; it would make life so much easier. Finding a spot to park should not be this difficult. Students can adapt and deal with it, but maybe River Falls can bend a little, too.

Samantha Harkness is a journalism major at UW-River Falls. She loves reading, writing and watching movies.