First thing’s first. Yay more parking spots on campus.
It’s nice to see that more parking is being added by Popplewell. After all, as Missouri Western continues to grow, so should its parking lots. The fact that we are largely a commuter campus makes this even more of a necessity.
But what is unfortunate is that the growth of those parking lots comes at the expense of those who may need accessible parking.
Currently, as other parts of the parking lot by Popplewell are being reworked, faculty parking is temporarily being relocated to the accessible parking spots. These larger parking spots are closer to doors and walkways and are accommodating for students and visitors with disabilities.
Now, it makes sense that you move spots in order to allow for construction to occur, but moving those spots to accessible parking areas does raise some concerns. People use those spots for a reason. They need them and we should be accommodating to that need. Sure, it’s a temporary problem, but it could still impact people for the next couple of weeks. That may not sound like a long time, but if you do have difficulty getting in and out of a vehicle and/or getting to class, it might well be a long time to wait.
Now, this is not to say that a problem does exist, but the possibility for a problem to occur does. Anytime accessibility is reduced or limited (even temporarily) we should be concerned that this affects people’s ability to get around campus. We should be mindful of these needs and careful not to limit them.
It’s a good thing that this is a temporary issue and those spots will become available again after fall break, but it is still unfortunate that they are being limited currently. We hope the next time parking lot construction occurs, those who need accessible parking don’t lose their spot. Hopefully in the future, Western expands accessible parking to ensure that there is plenty of room to accommodate everyone.