Sep 132007
 
Authors: Shane Armstrong

Clark Kerre, the former president of the University of California system once said, “A university is a diverse community held together by common complaints about parking.”

After a quick Google with the search terms “shortage of campus parking” and getting 604,000 matches, I would have to say he is right.

Has anyone else noticed the new “islands” at the end of the parking lanes at the Student Center? I know I much prefer a small concrete island to a parking spot.

Though I have been told only 12 spaces were lost, these islands seem to go against the very first sentence of a statement from a recent parking study on CSU’s police Web site.

“Colorado State University is growing, and available campus parking options need to keep pace”.

While we can all agree with this statement, we need to look at all types of parking.

This is not jut an issue about cars.

Bike parking on campus seems to be at max capacity. People are locking up anywhere they can find a spot.

Increasing parking rates along with increased difficulty finding spaces means more people will be biking to class, something the university has to see coming.

Instead of feeding students’ automobile habit, CSU should add more bike parking, or even better yet, bike lockers.

This idea is in effect at campuses such as University of Minnesota, Ball State, and the University of Washington, according to Cycle-Safe, a locker manufacturer. This same manufacturer points out that 18 bikes can be parked in the area of 1 parking space.

I know I would be more inclined to ride from a further distance if I could ride a nicer bike and be able to store it with a reduced chance of theft.

Instead of raising permit costs for everybody, or switching meters to pay machines that cause back-ups at peak times all in order to help fund a concrete eyesore of a parking garage, CSU should be trying something else to free up current spaces.

Make the parking permit structure based on from where students commute.

Why should someone who does not have access to a public bus, or who doesn’t live right on campus pay almost the same as those who do?

Look at all the parking outside residence halls that could be opened up to commuting students and staff if it became financially unviable for those living on campus to park there.

Fort Collins and the university are easy to move around in. Be it by bike, Transfort or on your own two feet and if you live in the heart of it all, on campus, these 3 alternatives are all you need.

While I like the idea that my University is growing, I don’t like the idea that we are losing grass everyday to new buildings, and I especially don’t like the idea of a concrete car lot.

Through financial disincentives, and the opening of more safe, secure and plentiful bike parking, we can maintain the beauty of our campus and maybe, just maybe, get to a point where we tear up lots not for garages but to plant grass and trees.

Shane Armstrong is a junior liberal arts major. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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