Author Topic: Argument against more parking on campus - it takes money away from education  (Read 2727 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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http://streetsblog.net/2011/06/28/coming-to-a-college-campus-near-you-more-learning-less-parking/

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Things are tough all over, and that goes for America’s institutions of higher learning as well. Colleges and universities, once thought to be recession-proof, are being forced to raise tuition and cut back.

But like many aspects of this period of readjustment, there’s a silver lining. According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, American universities are targeting their often staggering parking budgets — and not without some pushback from students.

Matthew Cameron at Think Progress says the trend will offer rewards on an environmental and on an academic basis:

Cites:
- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/06/27/colleges_discourage_students_from_driving_cars_to_campus_promote_bikes
- http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/06/27/255176/colleges-should-focus-on-teaching-students-not-giving-them-subsidized-parking-spaces/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+matthewyglesias+%28Matthew+Yglesias%29

As one of the comments says:
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In this economic climate, I would advise any student to graduate from college with as little debt as possible.  Not paying $8000 a year to own, maintain, and operate a car is an excellent way to reduce college living expenses, and bicycling is a good way to avoid the freshman-fifteen.
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Offline pmp6nl

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I am 100% in favor of working to reduce the number of students driving to college.  Of course I understand the challenges, especially in the Dakotas with the weather and what not.

I would personally like to see many on campus parking spots turned into green space.  Close at least some of the roads on campus and turn them into bike and walking areas -- or more green space, perhaps plazas?  Cars and tons of pedestrians already don't work so well, why not get rid of at least some of them and beautify while at it.

Many colleges and universities in the Dakotas do promote public transit where possible, of course in many areas this is not feasible.  While I would like to see more stern approaches like in some of the articles, I am going to be realistic. 

Promote public transit, don't build more parking lots off campus, remove some lots on campus, close down at least some on campus roads, add more bike racks and biking programs, and do some beautification of former parking lots and roads.  Thats not asking too much, is it?
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Offline gh

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It would be great o have more "green space" on campus, and if there was less parking that could be done. Maybe more encouragement of biking on campus would help.

When I had to go to classes, I walked from the very north parking lot at NDSU and my classes were mostly at the south end of campus....not so much fun and it seemed like it took forever.  For the Dakotas, it may be nice to have a tunnel system to get to most of your classes. I know at NDSU, there are a couple tunnels like the one from the chemistry building to the IACC, and then the underground tunnel from Stevens Hall to Van Es, but those are the only ones I'm aware of...

Once the snow was mostly melted and it was nice, I'd ride my bike to class, which made the trip seem a lot quicker too.  Biking is definitely a great option, but I think it would be harder to do on our campuses during the winter months.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Slightly more difficult, not impossible.  You just need to do it and not sit around shivering in your car.
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Offline pmp6nl

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I would like to see this approach be more strongly considered in the campus communities.  Has there been any studies or efforts undertaken in more cold areas?  Tying in the use of city buses to supplement bike riders could be another approach to take.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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I don't know of any studies that have specifically focused on bicycle and bus commuting, other than the UND yearly commuting survey, which doesn't quite address the questions at hand.
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Offline pmp6nl

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I don't know of any studies that have specifically focused on bicycle and bus commuting, other than the UND yearly commuting survey, which doesn't quite address the questions at hand.

If I see any I will post them.  Maybe I could coax an undergrad or two in transportation related studies to do some research.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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I feel like there is so much cool stuff that could be done, but since I'm not in that field I don't know what other variables need to be taken into account when measuring alternatives to driving to campus.

(plus the added points that I need to finish my dissertation and have lots of other things to do!)
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Offline pmp6nl

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I feel like there is so much cool stuff that could be done, but since I'm not in that field I don't know what other variables need to be taken into account when measuring alternatives to driving to campus.

(plus the added points that I need to finish my dissertation and have lots of other things to do!)

Doesn't it stink when you are interested in something, but you don't have time to pursue it?  That seems to be the story of my life also.  Ya, finish your dissertation! ;)
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