Few solutions available for students’ parking problems
A non-snowed-in parking space plus the card to get into the garage: that’s 629 Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers. Syracuse University parking is hard to come by unless you’re willing to pay a hefty fee. If you want to keep your snow shovel dry throughout the Syracuse winter, a space in one of the campus parking garages is $629, and that’s only if you’re living in a dorm. If you live in an on-campus apartment without sufficient parking or an off-campus apartment, you’re basically screwed.
The lucky drivers can find an embarrassing spot for their beat-up Honda Civic between a BMW SUV, Lexus SUV or $85,000-plus Porsche Cayenne. Try driving a golden minivan with your soccer mom’s stickers covering the back. Once I have driven around the campus of cars that were bought by daddy for his little girl’s Sweet 16, I have to try to squeeze my Chrysler Town and Country monster between them.
Although I live in an on-campus apartment that supposedly ‘provides parking,’ there are about 14 cars and eight spots, not to mention a 90-degree turn between the building’s corner and the first car in the row. It’s a well-known fact in my building that if you park in that first space, you should expect a scratch, dent or missing sideview mirror. I brought ‘MamaVan’ to Syracuse in June, and it now boasts a giant dent on either side, only one of which my parents know about. Surprise, Mom!
I no longer have any idea how much I owe the state of New York in parking tickets, and I have already handed over $248 worth of hard-earned wages to Field’s Towing. Then there’s also the $108 that one guy from the towing company most likely pocketed after we caught him about to drive off with my boyfriend’s Honda CR-V.
Not all students actually have the money to pitch in toward a parking space. We would rather spend it on the less important necessities of life like food, rent, electricity and water. Plus, we don’t all live in open doubles with a snoring roommate for our full four years … thankfully. According to SU Parking and Transit Services, the newly opened Booth garage allows students not living in dorms to purchase a space, but only on the roof. So much for that dry snow shovel and the first couple months’ rent. Manley parking can also be purchased by non-dormitory students, but have fun trying to walk there in the rain and snow if you don’t live on South Campus. Parking and Transit Services would not comment on whether or not they plan on creating other parking options because only the director, who was unavailable, is permitted to speak to press.
You would think the best option is to simply not bring a car, but groceries don’t just appear in my apartment, and Price Chopper and P&C aren’t exactly within walking distance. Walking the five blocks back from work at midnight with my waitressing cash is basically the equivalent of stamping the word ‘vulnerable’ on my forehead. So this leaves me with the options of starving and getting molested, receiving yet another parking ticket or paying the towing guy whose office looks like the dog’s playground in ‘The Sandlot.’
The university may have to spare part of Chancy Nancy’s half-million-and-some dollar salary for some parking. It seems now that we’ve built paradise, we need to put up a parking lot.
Melissa Valliant is a contributing columnist whose columns appear biweekly in The Daily Orange. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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