TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, February 17, 2004
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Parking problems require resolutions

Brian Chatman is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.

I am sitting in my car after my first class ends. I have more than two hours until my next class begins, but if I go anywhere I may not get a place when I come back. It is cold and raining, so what better time than now for some investigating.

The question: What is the source of TCU’s parking problem? Armed with the parking regulations I found in the campus map, I get out to count how many people are illegally parked.

After walking up and down the rows of cars in the east campus commuter lots, and annoying many of the circling, vulture-like commuters hunting for a spot, the final count is as follows: 23 vehicles with no permit at all, seven people with main campus permits and three with Worth Hills permits — and not a one of them with parking citations.
Most of these cars were gone within an hour and a half, but in that time at least 20 commuters came through looking for a parking spot. I don’t have an exact count of how many came through because I was avoiding eye contact with them. Most of them were quite mad after following me up and down the rows thinking I was going to my car.

Seeing the number of illegally parked vehicles in commuter lots and trying to remember how many I have seen on other days, I must conclude this is not the source of TCU’s parking problem. It does, however, serve to compound the issue.

On the steps of the Student Center, as I stare maliciously at the cars with main campus permits on the opposite side of the reserved faculty lot, I ask myself, “Why are residents in these places?”

The money earmarked for parking in our tuition increase should go toward a parking garage and all on-campus residents should park there. That would free up all the main campus spots for commuters and faculty.

Residents have this nice campus circulator bus to cart them around, so they don’t need to be parked anywhere on campus. Their cars would be much safer in a centralized, secure location.

More commuter spaces would ensure that the incensed man in the Suburban that just parked on the median would be happier. It means I would be able to make more use of the time between classes, and still be able to find a parking place when I came back.
Whether or not this is the plan the administration has, I don’t know. All I know is that a promise for parking improvements is meaningless until I see some heavy equipment arriving on campus.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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