I am writing in reference to the recent changes at the Park Avenue Garage. I would have liked to address this letter to Dr. Pacheco, but without the wider publication of your paper I doubt he would have responded.
The Parking and Transportation Department at this university is a disgrace to the state. The constant reduction in student parking and inept excuses offered evidence a total disregard for the students.
I would like to ask Marlis Davis a few questions. First, did she consider any other alternatives before butchering yet another student parking area? Second, has she ever had to find a parking space? Third, who did she get input from before making her decision to take away the spaces in the Park Avenue Garage?
There are workable alternatives to the action taken at the Park Avenue Garage. To increase visitor parking, allow the employees of the university to volunteer their reserved parking in favor of using the convenient, always-ready shuttle. The employees are here eight hours straight and would be far less inconvenienced by the shuttle than students. Students must leave classes to go to work, and central parking would aid them. After all, the Parking and Transportation Department has colored a bright picture of the shuttle Ÿ let them use it!
Better yet, since we are supposed to be talking about visitors here for special events, why not allow parking on the McKale lawn, along the Mall, or along the streets which are blocked for the shuttle? This would injure no one, and would cause very few problems. The university is supposed to be issuing special permits for invited visitors now anyway Ÿ just allow them to display the permits while parking in these areas.
Another ignored alternative is to allow visitors access to the entire Park Avenue Garage. There are currently no ungated entries/exits to the garage. Allow the visitors to roam the entire garage looking for parking, just like the lowly students. This makes sense, because the spaces are not being utilized presently and the mighty dollar will still be collected because the visitors would have no other way out of the garage. I have noticed that in the first two weeks of this abomination, there have only been two cars parked in the visitors parking area. They have been there nearly every day, and are the same cars. These are probably not visitors, but students who can afford the price! On both Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, there were no cars at all on the second floor. If the dividers are removed, there will still be adequate parking for visitors. The common usage will also allow the students to use the currently inaccessible covered parking.
The university seems to be able to pay the salaries of the meter readers, but unable to address the problem caused by their own incompetence. Fire the meter readers and buy property. There has been a representative of the Parking and Transportation Department in the garage every day this week. That is a complete waste of money. Get rid of the meter readers today! Maybe tear up the faculty parking areas for a change and make elevated garages in those areas. The faculty/staff parking is not sacrosanct! Forcing the faculty/staff of the UA to park in the distant parking areas will free far more spaces than needed for visitors. Designate the formerly faculty/staff parking as student parking and sell the permits. This will ameliorate the lost income from firing the meter readers and address the students' concerns.
Dr. Pacheco, I would appreciate consideration of my proposals.
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