Richards: Is a parking pass worth it?

Jason Richards, Staff Columnist

Parking at Case Western Reserve University is a hefty investment. For my parking pass this semester, I had to pay $281.60 to park in the lot outside my dorm on the south side of campus. And that’s for only one semester.

Yes, that adds up to over $560 in parking fees for one academic year, for one lot. In my case, my hometown of Pittsburgh is close enough that I decided it made up its value in saving my parents the trip to and from campus to pick me up.

But as of writing this article, I have next to me a parking violation I received less than an hour ago in the amount of $25 for parking in another campus lot for my 7 p.m. class.

The lot was empty.

Paying over $560 a year and not being able to park in any other campus lots for any amount of time is a lot to dish up. I mean, what real reason do they have to ticket me for parking in an empty lot when I’m paying this amount to stay in another?

I get that letting any permit holder access any lot at any time could definitely pose some logistical problems for people who need to park there on a consistent basis, but when the lot is empty, what harm is being done?

I really think that some of these open lots like the one I parked in for my late class could benefit students if rules were only enforced during specific hours. Seeing as the lot is barely used at nighttime, the time of my ticket, there’s no reason to continue to enforce the area as if it were the middle of a class day. On top of that, it’s much safer to give students the option to drive to their class at night, especially if it is far from their dorm.

My parking pass, because it is for an outside lot, was actually cheaper than most. Passes for covered parking garages often cost more. You would also think that, at these prices, you’d get a little more bang for your buck.

The lot I’m currently paying for is riddled with potholes, and you can’t see the painted lines indicating the actual parking spots. If they’re paying traffic enforcement to ticket left and right—even valuable paying customers—at unreasonable hours, why can’t they budget a little more money for the maintenance of these expensive parking lots?

With how much we’re already paying for tuition, it doesn’t feel worth it to pay for ease of transportation on campus just to face even more fees later.

Jason Richards is a second-year computer science major. He procrastinates writing these articles and drives the whole editorial board mad. Oops.