Editorial: Parking not on par with growth

posted in: Opinion | 0

Any student who commutes to campus knows how frustrating it can be to search for a parking spot.  Pacific’s particular location and the layout of Forest Grove leave only about two usable blocks (along College Way and Cedar Street) of parking space to be shared between students, staff, faculty and visitors.  This is not nearly enough.

Three years ago, on-campus parking was still troublesome but tolerable.  However, as Pacific has seen a large rise in undergraduate admissions, partly due to the resurgence of the football program, the already thin amount of available parking space is being stretched well beyond its means.

Today, even possessing a parking pass does not guarantee one a spot, as many on-campus residents are forced onto street parking.  Factor in popular sports events and the annual Lu’au, just the task of reaching campus seems far more daunting than it should be.

While the university has already undertaken measures to accommodate the influx of students, such as building new residence halls and allowing sophomores to move off-campus a semester earlier, very little has been done to keep Pacific’s campus vehicle-friendly.

And on top of the nuisance of merely locating a parking space, one must also often move or re-park their car in order to avoid receiving a ticket, a tedious task for anyone with a full day’s schedule.

It’s about time that Pacific and the city of Forest Grove get on to the same page.  While Pacific must continue to intelligently expand and better itself, Forest Grove must stop making students feel like intruders in a town that will never belong to them.  Ticketing students while they are in class serves no justifiable purpose other than perhaps a feeble attempt to generate revenue.

Given the amount of space Pacific has at its disposal, a parking structure is in no way out of the question.  Even a structure small in scale would dramatically increase the ease of parking to where it should have been several years ago.


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