“Seven semesters down, only three more to go,” is what I think to myself every day as I trudge down and then up the hill from the over-flow parking lot across from Spratt. Let’s face it people there is a definite parking problem on Missouri Western’s campus.
Every fall semester since 2009, I have spent the first two and a half months trudging the hills from over-flow parking to Murphy Hall. Spring semester is not as awful, nor is summer, but fall semesters are just horrible for a student hunting for available parking close to where the buildings where their classes are held.
Walking two blocks in the rain, in the wind, in the snow and in the cold is not much fun. In fact, it is enough to make this student want to stay home at times. Trudging up and down hills with a heavy bag of books is not easy for some students. There are many non-traditional students on campus, who are not disabled, but they are older and it is physically harder on these students to carry heavy book-bags those distances.
As a student, I generally arrive on campus twenty minutes early, spend the first ten minutes circling parking lots and eventually end up racing to overflow parking. The next ten minutes are spent parking and then almost running the approximate two city blocks to my classes in the Poppelwell, Murphy and Eder buildings.
One would think that the population increase of the student body would alert Administration that increased parking would become necessary. Administration does not seem to see the increased problem, because after-all there is more than enough faculty parking. So, when administration looks out a window, they see empty parking spaces and assume that additional parking is not needed. Unfortunately, these empty spots belong to faculty; any students caught parking in these marked spots will receive a minimum $25 fine.
The parking problem could be easily remedied by adding a back row of parking to several of the parking lots, such as the library parking lot, the lot in front of Eder, Poppelwell, and Potter Halls. The only loss would be to a small amount of grass out towards the street. I have never seen anyone walking or sitting, or studying in this grass. Not many people are interested in walking through parking lots to go sit in a small amount of grass with the busy street on one side and parking lots on the other.
As if the lack of parking spaces in lots close to specific buildings is not enough, the inconsideration of other students driving on campus can be very irritating. If you are waiting on a student that has approached their vehicle, turn on your turn signal, so that other drivers know to go around, instead of lining up behind you, and blocking traffic.
If someone is waiting to get into a spot, but have to wait until the car completely moves to get into it and you can clearly see this, do not jump the gun and steal the spot just because you can get in faster. I have had this done to me, and I have seen it done many times. It is just rude, and you never know depending on who it is, doing this may invoke road rage.
There are a few things students can do to help with the over-crowded parking lots. If you are driving a motorcycle, pull in close enough so other motorcycles may share the spot. Three motorcycles can easily fit into one spot, this opens up two spots for cars or trucks. This semester I have seen this done on campus for the first time, and I applaud those of you who already do this, but to the ones who do not shame on you.
Drivers of large trucks should also try to be more considerate and park between the lines, and not on them. I have seen many drivers park almost diagonally; with the tail of the truck jutting at an angle out into other parking spots. Not only is this illegal according to the parking guidelines that Missouri Western enforces, but it is just plain rude. Slow down and be more considerate, not only would your kindness be helpful to other students, but you would be saving yourself a fine.
Increasing parking by removing a small amount of grass would not only help with the problem of parking on campus between 8am and 4pm. Overflow parking would become less student used and open up for increased visitor parking.