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OPINION: Parking pet peeves

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Angela Martinez | The Daily Wildcat Parking and Transportation Services building on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. The department has recently added RideAmigos, a program meant to give incentives to people commuting to campus.

Having been a student at the University of Arizona for over a semester, I think it’s safe to openly complain about the parking situation here on campus. Knowing how I feel, I can just imagine what those who’ve been here longer are going through. Parking on campus is not a walk in the park. In fact, parking on campus might equal about ten walks in the park based on how far your designated parking area is. Here’s a list of parking pet peeves and some of the ways I’ve learned to maneuver through them.

Pet peeve #1: So much space, so few spots

What I can’t seem to understand is how big this campus is and how limited the amount of garage and lot spaces there are. What’s even more confusing is when parking spaces are replaced with something else, when we clearly need more parking spaces (there’s literally waiting lists, people). Next to the Marshall building, there was a space that was used for parking. Now it is being completely demolished and being remodeled into something that doesn’t provide more parking. How convenient and considerate.

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Tips: Get to campus earlier, and get on a waitlist!

Knowing that there’s limited space, I know I need to get to campus earlier so I have more time to search for a place to leave my car. It doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of limited space, but it does leave me a little less frazzled and stressed out. Also, while you’re trying to get a designated lot or garage, make sure to sign up for a parking waitlist. From personal experience, it takes time to get better parking, but at least you’re in line for when that time comes.

Pet peeve #2: So few spots, yet so much money

Knowing that parking is limited, it’s astounding how expensive it is. A parking garage spot costs $692. I might understand the cost if we all had access to parking our cars, but because space is not guaranteed to students, paying so much makes absolutely no sense. A decrease in cost would be nice, and UA chemistry major Nathan Rundhaug agrees. 

“The campus simply needs to reduce cost and expand to accept more students that could afford a more manageable fee,” Rundhaug said. 

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Tip: Charge the pass to your bursar’s account.

For those who don’t have half a grand sitting in their wallet and ready to spend at any time, you can charge your parking permit to your bursars account and pay at a later time. Two things to keep in mind are: 1) It costs an additional $20 to charge the pass to your account, and 2) there is a deadline as to when the pass needs to be paid. Keep an eye out for that if you’re considering this option.

Pet peeve #3: Sports first, education second.

In a tweet, UA Ph.D. student Brian Maitner critiques the university’s priorities. “The University of Arizona @UofA has (again) asked that faculty and students work from home on Friday to free up parking for a football game.  #priorities I think the administration may be a bit confused as to the purpose of a University.....,” Maitner tweeted in October of last year. 

As a student employee, I have experienced more limits to parking access due to sporting events. As fun and beneficial as athletics are here, I’d like to be able to park near my job or near the library for when I need to work on projects.

Tip: Take advantage of CatTran

CatTran doesn’t take you everywhere you want to go, but there’s a variety of stops available that can take you at least closer to where you need to be. Let someone else drive you through the hectic stress and limited space brought on by sporting events. It’s free, too!

So while parking remains a frustrating topic, there’s at least a few tools and tips that can make the experience a little less irritating. Trust me, I’m still irritated, but knowing I have other options to assist me makes the ride less bumpy.


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