As I’m leaving my 3:30 p.m. class, my thoughts are overclouded by an alert that stops me in my tracks. I realize my car is in danger of having a $30 fine. I imagine it confidently wavering back and forth on my windshield, announcing the crime I’ve just committed to the whole world.
An unwanted reminder that totally diminishes all my enthusiasm remaining for the rest of the day.
I run out of the building to my Toyota Corolla in hopes of reaching my car before a ticket. However, the first thing that greets my vision is the white slip on my windshield.
Written in bold ink, it is a request (putting it nicely) to pay my new fee. Disregarding any financial situations an individual might have, this fee increases if not paid on time.
My frustration only grows as I am taunted by a UNC Transportation and Parking vehicle circling the parking lot, providing cars with the impending doom of a greedy fine. Navigating the parking situation on UNC’s campus has, without a doubt, become a demanding expedition for students who rely on personal transportation.
Many students work part-time or full-time jobs to financially support themselves through college. Having better access to parking is essential, as it directly impacts their ability to travel conveniently.
First-year students, in particular, face a hurdle as they are bound by UNC’s Transportation and Parking Ordinance, which strictly prohibits them from parking on campus. This means that first-years who bring their vehicles must find alternative parking off campus, but they are also restricted from buying an official permit for the RR Lot — a notably popular choice and possibly the only option for many students.
From my experience a few years ago, the bus journey to the RR Lot is often tedious and can take up to half an hour or more, depending on road conditions and the weather.
While the UNC Transportation and Parking website mentions several options to address student parking needs, it falls short of adequately emphasizing the obstacles and inconveniences students may face.