Mandating parking isn’t the answer


We’ve praised YSU’s relatively low parking rates in the past. And we generally commend the university’s police department for consistently patrolling parking lots and the streets surrounding campus.

But we will never endorse a mandatory parking fee.

And that’s what the proposed transportation fee is: mandatory. 

By mandating a fee, we strip students’ right to choose not to park on campus. And it’s an easy choice for some students who take online classes or spend only one or two days a week on campus.

Sadly, convenient parking spots are often not available in the decks, and students are forced to park in lots that put them farther from their classes than a spot on the street would.

Parking fees are a necessity, but they should be mandated only for those who utilize parking lots and bus services. Not everyone should afford those passengerless buses and dilapidated parking decks. 

There is an inadequate amount of parking space on campus as is. If parking were mandated, a lot more students would be sifting through campus each week looking for a parking spot.

Because of that, more parking would need to be made available, and the university better make sure there is. 

But more parking lots and decks on campus equal money and a decrease in the YSUPD’s patrol time in each of the lots or decks on campus.

University officials argue that mandating parking would ensure student safety and convenience.

“This would pull students into safe parking areas,” Grilli said. 

We think it’s safer to park off campus than in a decrepit parking deck.

To be fair, students should be charged simultaneously for parking and bus passes. 

Each time a student uses the bus, he or she would present his or her parking pass card. Then, the university could raise the rates for these students who use services — and not for those who can’t afford it.

The university and board of trustees better rethink this one. A much fairer way exists to approach this problem.

The administration is talking out of both sides of its mouth. Campus can’t be a safe place and too dangerous to park at the same time.

This is just another poorly disguised attempt to have the students carry more of the financial burden.