I'm pretty sure it's not just me, but just in case, has anyone else noticed the ever-changing parking format at the UA?
It seems with every spot available, the UA is trying to suck the students and/or their parents dry. A permit to park at the UA costs hundreds of dollars, but they often leave you several blocks from your class, or even from campus. I feel sorry for the people who only have class on Tuesday's and Thursday's; boy, are they getting a raw deal. Does anyone get reimbursed the difference if they don't actually use $500, or whatever amount, worth of parking for the year? Has anyone tried this? I think you'd have a good case with that one, but then again, I'm not in law school.
I noticed this year that the UA raised the prices for parking in the garages around campus. Now it's $2 for each of the first two hours with a maximum of $8 for the day (that's if you don't lose your ticket, cause if you do, it's now a $10 charge).
They keep shooting the prices up, trying to suck up cash wherever they can.
For example, the time limits at meters. Who parks for 1 hour? That's the length of a class!
There's not enough time to park, walk to class, sit through class and walk back before your time is up. It's ridiculous! Two hours is even too little; maybe if a person only has one class that day, but in that case, your class is likely going to be over two hours anyway.
On top of those silly time limits, why is it illegal to feed the meter? They should be happy, right? You're basically guaranteeing them parking revenue longer than they would expect, yet the UA still has an army of ""Parking Enforcement Officers"" patrolling the campus and surrounding areas, making sure the parking lots are safe; or at least safely collecting money.
Woe to the student who needs to stay after and ask the instructor some questions, cause after that meter starts blinking, it takes one of our campus' favorite people approximately 3.4 seconds to find you vehicle and ticket it.
Sure, I understand that the amount of public funding for higher education has been cut, and money, apparently, is hard to come by, but how about the idea that, by attending this institution, I should at least be provided with the means to attend, specifically in the form of adequate parking.
""I pay thousands of dollars in tuition to go to this school, and I can't even get to class because there is no parking,"" kind of argument.
Why have large numbers of metered parking spots been turned into parking permit required spots. I used to love the meters, it was like striking gold to be able to find one of those on campus, now it's not worth driving around for 20 minutes trying to find one.
Doesn't anyone else have these problems? I'm poor and have a mortgage and bills to pay, so I can't afford to drop hundreds of dollars in one shot for a parking permit. Besides, all I could afford would be a Zone 1 or something, and I'm trying to protect my car. A year of every day being in the Arizona sun would destroy it. As far as I'm concerned, covered parking should be a right, not a privilege in this state.
Even if you drop the money for a permit the UA Web site clearly states, ""Parking permits (with the exception of Reserved permits) do not guarantee anyone a parking space, only the right to park in specified areas when space is available."" So even if you pay the $350-$570 for a permit, don't assume that buys you a place to park. It's more like buying a theoretical parking spot; it may, or may not be there.
I think it's a shame that the UA is trying to expand enrollment and retention, when it seems we're lacking in even the most basic on campus facilities, parking especially. Student and resident inconvenience and suffering are the consequence. If the money generated from parking has become more important than the students abilities to get to their class, then the priorities of this institution are indeed misplaced.
— Chris Ward is a senior majoring in English. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.