As a student at Idaho State University that lives off-campus, I often either ride the bus to school or I end up driving my vehicle. In order to avoid getting parking tickets, I did as any rational person would do, and I bought a general parking pass, as I have every year that I have attended college. I never truly had any issues with the general parking lot until this year. This year in particular, my ability to find parking spaces has not seen much luck. Every other year I would just drive my car to the overflow lot on the corner of 4th and Terry Street, but this year I often have troubles finding a spot there as well. General parking here at Idaho State is becoming a serious issue that is causing students to be late for class, work or professional meetings. I personally believe that part of the issue has come down to two main problems that I wish to address in this article.
The first issue can probably be seen even if you have never stepped foot in the Pond Student Union parking lot, and may be your first guess as to what the problem is. There were more general parking passes sold than there are general parking spots. As a consumer, I believe that items such as parking passes should be a promise to the user that there will be a spot reserved for them somewhere in the lot when they arrive with their vehicle. Selling someone something that only works 50 percent is a clear and simple lack of business ethics, and that is what happened to the students of Idaho State University that purchased a parking pass. Now, one could say that they are selling a parking pass to more general lots than just the Pond Student Union. As that is definitely true as there are general parking lots on the North end of campus as well. However, if a student needs a parking lot at the Pond Student Union, they are probably going to be a little upset when they find out that the closest the spot they can find is at the Holt Arena.
My idea for a solution to this problem is to sell two different categories of general parking lot passes. One set can be the north end of campus which includes lots such as Reed’s Gym, Turner’s General, and Holt Arena. The other pass would be for the south end of campus. These lots include lots like the Pond Student Union and the 4th Street overflow lot. I believe this could allow the consumer to have a better idea of what they are buying. It will also allow the consumer to purchase as much or as little parking lot access as they please.
The other issue has to do with recent renovations on the Student Union parking lot. At the beginning of this school year, the parking lot received a number of parking meters that used to be spots reserved for people owning a general parking pass. It is fine that they renovated the parking lot to allow campus visitors to purchase a few hours of parking, so I am all for that. However, I also noticed that the price of a general parking pass remained the same price as last year. This seems very strange to me as there are clearly fewer spots for students to park their vehicle, unless they wanted to pay for hourly parking on top of their semester parking pass. Now I am not in charge of the Idaho State parking funds, but I believe that the money for parking passes goes to the repair and maintenance of the parking lots. So this begs the question: “If I am paying the same amount for a parking pass, and there are fewer spaces that I can park in with my vehicle, then where is that extra money going?” If one pays the same amount for a park pass they did last year, then there is an small excess of money. Is that money still going to the repair and maintenance of the spots with the new parking meters? Then where is the money from the new parking meters going? I believe that the best solution to solve this issue is to make the parking passes less expensive as they are less effective than they have been in years past.
What it comes down to is that parking at Idaho State University has become an issue that needs solved. If you are someone who has purchased a parking pass, you should be upset that they decreased the value of the purchase while maintaining the same high price of the parking passes in previous years. I have presented two solutions to two problems, and I am asking you as a reader to contemplate the problems and solutions to the Idaho State parking dilemma.