Parking problems? Please

Parking at OU can be a painful experience. In the poll from our previous issue, 75 percent of our respondents said this year will be a bad year for campus parking. Another 10.7 percent said they’d even park at the TGI Fridays on Squirrel Road. Only 14.3 percent of respondents think parking isn’t a big deal.

The new parking plan gives OU even more spots than before. And nobody should be complaining at all: It’s free.

Many colleges require students and faculty to pay for parking.

Wayne State University requires students and faculty to purchase a parking pass for $280 per semester. An additional $25 must also be spent for an RFID hangtag, whatever that is.

University of Michigan has so many options for parking permits that they’re color-coded. It should also be mentioned that student parking permits are available to juniors, seniors and graduate students only.

Michigan State University ends up stealing the show with their parking policies. Parking permits cost from about $190-$284 per semester. If one changes vehicles, one must “scrape off your permit and take the pieces of it and your MSU pictured ID card to the Parking Office. They will issue you a replacement permit for a $2 fee,” according to MSU’s website. 

Scraping off a permit and then paying for it certainly puts OU’s parking problems in perspective.

For the most part at OU, we can park in whichever lot we please, regardless of class standing, all without spending a dime or scraping anything for that matter.

Even with 8,319 parking spots, there are still plenty of infractions. According to OUPD’s citation violations summaries for the years 2010-2012, parking in non-designated areas is the reason for most parking tickets from OUPD. Parking in a non-designated area means parking in a non-parking spot. In the 2012 citation violations summary, $24,280 was collected in non-designated area fines alone.

Since so many people are parking in non-designated areas, it would seem as though there isn’t enough parking on campus. After all, over 1,000 people were desperate enough to park in lawns, ends of aisleways and streets.

Parking checks are made every 90 minutes from 8am-9pm of the first two weeks of any given semester, according to Captain Mark Gordon of OUPD.

A parking check is the mundane task of going to each and every parking lot and counting how many spaces aren’t occupied. If a constant problem ensues, OUPD will contact someone from Facilities Administration, who will, in turn solve it.

If there aren’t enough spots for students and faculty, OUPD is at the ready to solve the problem.

Another issue to be addressed is the biggest complaint Gordon gets: there isn’t enough convenient parking outside the buildings people want to go to.

What these naysayers won’t accept is the fact it’s more efficient to park in the parking structure and walk to class, instead of slowly and soullessly following people to their cars, just to swipe their spot.

We won’t flimflam you and say a walk from Upper Fields to Hannah Hall only takes 12 minutes. But in most cases, the walk is completely reasonable.

 Most of all, students and faculty should be grateful they don’t have to spend upwards of $200 dollars just for the unpleasant experience of parking on campus.

Maybe the complaints will fizzle out when the new parking structure is completed Fall, 2014.

Until then, yes parking is annoying, but next time you’re complaining, stop and listen to the change jingling in your pocket. 


The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The

Oakland Post’s editorial board.