By Matthew Ferris – 1851 Staff
Would you ever park your car a mile away when you have a perfectly good driveway at your house? Would you ever allow someone to park in your driveway if it happens to be close to their job? Well, at Lasell, that is what residents are expected to do.
Commuters have priority for on campus parking, but residents should have a higher priority since residents pay to live here all school year and should be allowed to park where they live. Commuters have alternative options to arrive on campus, such as the shuttle. There are two shuttles here on campus that are schedule based. This means that if a resident wants to get to their car they must time it around the shuttle, which makes seven stops and an estimated hour-long route. Why should someone who lives somewhere wait an hour to get to their car so they can get where they need to go? This makes it hard for residents to keep to their personal schedules outside of classes when a lot of time is being committed to waiting for the shuttle.
Most resident students have their car on campus for certain reasons, which include buying groceries, driving home to their family and jobs and internships. The process of revolving a personal schedule around when the shuttle will arrive is tedious. For example, a resident student has class from 3:30 to 4:45 and work at 5:30, which is 15 minutes away by car. That student will either have to time a shuttle perfectly based on the shuttle schedule which makes several stops before getting to either Riverside or the West Newton parking lot or they will have to walk approximately a mile, which takes 20 – 25 minutes.
Residents should have priority over commuters because the school is losing money the way parking is set up now. Resident students pay $120 per semester for off-campus parking and commuters pay $50 per semester, leaving resident students paying $140 more than commuters for a full year. Also, residents are paying more to park their cars not on campus. The school does not get a discount from the off-campus sites (such as Riverside and West Newton parking lots) for buying a bundle of parking spaces. They pay the actual price for each spot. And they actually charge residents less money than the spot costs. The school pays around $2,000 for each individual spot at Riverside. Lasell is simply losing money for spots they can easily open up on campus for a significantly less cost.
Now on the other hand, commuters believe they deserve preferred parking. They have to drive back and forth every day to get to class. They have to pay more gas expenses since they drive to school every day. Also, if commuters have class in the morning and have to park at a busy train station it could be hectic and cause them to be late for class. It is also understandable that once commuters are done with a long school day, they shouldn’t have to walk anywhere and they can just hop in their cars and go home. These actions are still favoring commuters without taking resident problems into consideration, creating some inequality among students.
There will never be a perfect solution to parking preferences among different student. Nevertheless, residents should have priority over commuters for on campus parking because residents pay to live here all school year and should be allowed to park where they live, as well as the alternative methods commuters can use to get to school. Parking has always been a complicated issue that is continuing to develop, but it’s time this plan is re-assessed permanently for all residents.