Parking hell

Lack of space and tickets galore

As a second-year student here at NDSU, I was allowed the privilege, as a freshman, to be able to have a parking pass to park on-campus in more than one parking lot. I also recall being able to park in most parking lots after 4:30 p.m.

All of the other freshmen were able to be on campus as we pleased for homework, studying, visiting the dining hall and socializing with one another. We had this amazing privilege and everyone seemed to love it.

This year is a very different story. I have noticed a wide change in the rules of the parking lot. One such change in particular that caught my attention is that the Weible Residence Hall parking lot has been made into a small chunk of what it was the previous year. Even at its full size, the parking lot was not nearly big enough to accommodate everyone.

Every time I drive by Weible Hall I’ve noticed that the spaces reserved for staff 24/7 are never completely full. Not a single time. There are other parking lots for the students to use, but they are shared by other halls and are often packed.

They are not letting students use the parking passes that they paid for to their full advantage. Along with this, the 24/7 parking permit lots are not available to students like myself who do not live on campus but still like to visit people who do.

Personally, I’ve fallen victim to the consequences from these exclusive parking lots. After going to Niskanen Hall for days on end this school year, I have received two parking tickets. Despite the fact that prior to this school year, students were allowed to park there after 4:30, parking officers aren’t afraid to punish students used to habits of the past.

The whole situation has become ridiculous. I know that despite my experiences, I know I will probably have to risk getting more parking tickets in the future so I can fulfill all of my needs here on campus. 

For anyone who has to park downtown, they also know that there are many issues. Behind Renaissance Hall, there is a tiny parking lot for staff and a tiny alley that can fit about 15 cars (if you’re willing to risk your car getting hit because it is so small). There are minimal amounts of space for four-hour parking, but everything else is 90-minute parking.

All of the students who regularly go to Renaissance Hall have to attend classes that go longer than two-hours, making those 90-minute parking spots useless. Renaissance is not the only campus building downtown, so there will be students from other buildings fighting for the spots as well.

All of these parking issues do no favors to small-businesses downtown. Students use up all of the spots dedicated for business parking, possibly making their profits lower.

NDSU is trapping its students in an annoying cycle. This cycle takes advantage of students by forcing them to park on campus in spaces where they will be forced to pay for parking tickets. If legal options are unavailable, then students will have to find another way, and our bank accounts pay the price.

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