We all know that feeling of finding that sweet parking spot, but for many students at colleges and universities across the country, both students and faculty are not experiencing this pleasant emotion. While tuition and enrollment both continue to rise, parking facilities are not keeping up with the pace.
According to figures from the National Center For Education Statistics, in recent years, enrollment at secondary educational institutes has risen by 24%, from 16.6 million to 20.6 million. The number of full-time students rose to 28%, while the number of part-time students rose by 19%. While this is great for the education of our society as a whole, students and faculty are frustrated by a lack of adequate parking.
UIC Gets a C Minus in Parking
For those attending UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), they’re logging in at the popular College Niche website and have given the parking situation on campus a C minus as an average grade. While this denotes a less than fair level when it comes to grading standards, it would not be a grade that I would want to see on my college kid’s report card. Some of the complaints listed by students were:
- The price for parking in a semester is way too high
- Free parking around UIC does not really exist
- Get(s) annoying real quick because it’s always packed
- Parking on campus is impossible
- You need to plan ahead to make it to class on time
A student author contributor notes, “According to research, at any given time there are about seventeen thousand people on campus, but there are only about eleven thousand available parking spaces.”
Worst City For Parking
Since Chicago is such a big city, it should probably come as no big surprise to students that parking is a problem there. As a matter of fact, Nerd Wallet named the windy city the worst town for parking in all of the United States. They cited variables such as cost, problems with theft and pointing to a controversial privatization of parking.
Prices skyrocketed in 2009 after the City of Chicago made a deal with a group of investors, organized by Morgan Stanley, to operate its meters for 75 years. A group called Chicago Parking Meters LLC runs the gamut and the city also has an enormous laundry list of parking violations that they use to deliver expensive citations.
No Room and No Money For Additional Parking
One might imagine the simple solution would be to simply add more parking structures or build additional lots, but in most cases, there isn’t sufficient space or funds available. According to Parking Today, the cost to build just one parking spot is around $2,000. For a parking garage or other type of structure, the expense shoots up to somewhere between $13,000 and $15,000 per space.
The addition of more parking also means an increase in traffic, which means that the University would also be forced to perform a traffic analysis. Campus and neighboring streets may not be able to handle the additional wear and tear on their aging roadways and other surfaces.
Students Using Peer to Peer Parking
In today’s modern technological world, many are turning to apps like ParqEx – A Peer to Peer Parking. The concept is actually quite simple, after downloading the app to your smartphone or android device, parking spot owners can list their unused parking spots and renters can rent convenient and affordable parking.