For a commuter campus, parking really is a problem


Yeah, we know. It’s not the most original topic. It’s tired, overdone and we complain about it a lot.

As much as we hate to bring it up again, it is one of the more pertinent issues on campus right now.

Though it has been recently acknowledged by Oakland University Police Department Chief Samuel Lucido as a walking problem instead of a parking problem, we beg to differ.

Sure, there may be enough parking spots around campus, but it’s the faulty placement of them that troubles us. And then there’s the recent removal of 10 parking meters in P2, replaced by unused permit-only signs.

OU is a commuter school. One would think parking would be a primary concern of the university’s administration.

Apparently, it’s not.

John Beaghan, vice president of finance and administration, said the Human Health Building, which will be open for fall classes in 2012, won’t pose any problems to the parking situation because it will only cater to students from the School of Nursing and the School of Health Science. Students from the William Beaumont School of Medicine will reside in O’Dowd Hall.

Alright, cool.

Except, there are only 50 OUWB students. There are, in comparison, 3,691 students in nursing and health science.

Considering people are constantly parking on the hill in P1, leaving their cars at metered spots for longer than 45 minutes, illegally parking in handicapped spots and double parking, we’re curious to see what will happen when classes start next semester. You know, when 3,691 extra students are looking for spots there.

We’re also curious to see what will happen when a portion of the P5 lot in front of Vandenberg Hall is removed for a new housing facility that is expected to be built in 2013.

The week before Spring Break, a number of metered parking spaces were converted into permit-only spaces that are used every now and then by the Career Services office.

While we agree that sometimes Career Services may need spaces, we don’t think those spaces should be permanent.

The P2 lot is adjacent to the OC, which is home to many different organizations including CSA, Chartwells, the ID card offices, most of the direct funded organizations and the Barnes & Noble bookstore. It also borders Wilson Hall, which houses the university’s presidential council offices, the OU Art Gallery and Meadow Brook Theatre. It’s also the main building for art students.

Why not make those permit-only areas temporary? Give them removable black OU bags that can be added and removed when they’re needed — which doesn’t appear to be that often.

The shift in department infrastructure means a shift in parking habits and we fear it’s not going to turn out well.

We’re not parking experts, but the university should have people on hand who are.


The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.