New school year, same parking problem

According to President Gary Ransdell, Western doesn’t really have a parking problem.

It’s really just a location problem.

To a degree, he’s right. There are new parking spaces available if you want a 30 minute up-hill hike to get to your first class. Better yet, you can shuttle in from a “remote parking area on Campbell Lane.”

The options aren’t exactly appealing.

But even more importantly, there still aren’t enough spots.

Sure the university added several hundred parking spaces over the summer, but they also took a lot away because of construction.

No one we can find knows exactly how many spaces are on campus. After all of the addition and subtraction, we might have the exact same number of spaces on campus as last year.

Add in 1,000 extra freshman and everyone with a tag is a little upset.

Every year, we say the university should do something to make it better. For good measure, here’s this years list of suggestions.

Increase hours for the shuttle system. Right now, the Big Red Shuttle runs until 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. That’s great for the students who gave up and decided to park on Campbell Lane. But what about the kids who did find a parking spot in the Egypt lot? The internal loop shuttle only runs until 4 p.m. Let’s make sure it starts running until 8:30 p.m. to make sure students are safe as they go to any of the commuter friendly lots on campus.

While we’re talking about the shuttle system, let’s start running the shuttle to various apartment complexes like Western Place and Hartland, so those folks don’t have to drive. Don’t say there’s not enough cash. Charge a small fee for those who want to use the service.

Campus is pretty creepy at night. During the day, the trees are nice, but at night, there’s no telling who might be behind them. We know now that students are going to have to park far away no matter what. Let’s hope WKU police continue to patrol campus at night.

Let’s also make sure that when lights go out in the parking structure or remote lots that they’re replaced immediately.

We want more emergency poles in parking areas. A student living in Minton Hall (which used to be Central) who had to park in the new gravel lots around Kentucky Street could walk to the dorm without ever passing an emergency pole. Plus, parking lots are some of the most high crime spots on campus.

Maybe we should be a little more forgiving of the administration. After all, they have designated parking spots about 30 feet from their door. Most of them have probably rarely made the hike form Egypt to Cherry Hall. If students had that luxury, they wouldn’t be complaining either.

Here’s a quick challenge for the administrators. Give up your coveted parking space for a week. Offer it to a frazzled commuter desperate for a parking spot.

See what its like for students who search campus for a parking spot at 9 a.m., then call us and tell us there isn’t a parking problem.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 11-member board of student editors.