The real cost of a parking permit that no one wants to talk about


Despite overcrowded student lots, many Gold Lot spaces remain empty after hours.

Allegheny College’s Safety and security, for the 2015-16 school year, has decided to add a few rules for the locations for parking.

This is disparaging to students because it is already difficult to find parking spots in their assigned lots.  As returning students already know, parking costs $150 per vehicle per year.

This price purchases a colored parking pass with the name of the building a student lives in, meaning he or she is only allowed to park in spaces in lots designated for that residential building.

In previous years, students were allowed to park on Park Avenue as well as in gold lots, which are primarily reserved for professors and other staff members, in late evening hours during the week and all weekend long.

Without any warning, before the school year began, the rules we have familiarized ourselves with have been changed.  Students are no longer allowed to park in gold lots at any time.  They must always remain in the lots assigned to them.  Along with not being allowed to park in gold lots, students can no longer park on the streets, especially not on Park Avenue.  Parking is a major issue now because there appears to not be enough spots for the students who have purchased parking permits.

Seventy-five dollar tickets are constantly being handed out to students who park in forbidden spots.  But is it honestly their fault for not parking in their designated lot?

With such strict parking rules, safety and security should control how many students are allowed to have parking permits.  They assign too many permits per lot, which forces students to have to park somewhere else, resulting in a fine.

One possible tactic that safety and security could implement is only allowing students that live a certain distance from the school to have parking permits, since they seem to not have enough spots to provide for all students.  Rules similar to this idea do exist regarding the students who qualify for leaving items in storage over the summer.  Only students who live four hundred or more miles away can leave items in storage over the summer.  Four hundred miles away is probably a little too far in regards to limiting students who are eligible for parking permits. Perhaps 200-250 miles would be a good option.

Many students are now questioning if purchasing a parking permit is even worth the cost.  For something that already costs $150, the addition of another $75 for the first time a parking law is broken, and a full $150 (exactly another parking permit) for the second time does not seem worth the cost to bring a car here at all, especially if you live no more than a couple of hours away from the school.

There are several bus routes available for transportation around Meadville, or students can carpool for doing things, such as running errands.  The only time it may truly be necessary to have a car at school is in order to go home for breaks, when you live four or more hours away from campus.  Other than that, why risk the potential financial burden?