Parking Wars: A Student Reality

You roll onto campus at 8:20am with ten minutes to spare before your first class. You would have had no problem making it to class on-time if you didn’t need to spend the next 20 minutes driving in circles around campus and the surrounding areas, looking for a parking spot. This is a reality for the hundreds of students that commute to school every day.

According to the 2013 UWindsor Commuting Survey, 38% of students park on campus using a pass purchased from the school.

Students have some options in the way of parking. One option is to park in a free parking zone on a nearby street. These streets are usually poorly lit with an approximate 15-20 minutes to walk to campus. It’s free as long as nothing unfortunate happens to your vehicle before you return from your night class. Students also have the option to purchase a “hunting pass” from the Parking Office at the University of Windsor. For $360 you have the ability to search for a parking spot on the main campus, during an 8-month school year. “The University of Windsor monitor the lots on a continual basis to ensure that we always have available space at any given day and time.  While the spaces may not always be where students want to park, the spaces are always available” says Laurie Butler-Grondin, manager of Parking Services at the University of Windsor. According to Butler-Grondin, the university sells 2,250 hunting passes usable at any of the 1,800 student parking spaces on the main campus. “The University of Windsor has an oversell rate of 25%, well below Ontario University standards which go between 25%-45%,” says Butler-Grondin.

On the other hand, you could end up being one of those students that are straight out of luck. According to Butler-Grondin, hunting passes were sold out by September 10th this school year. By the end of September, the University of Windsor website shows that every park pass for the main campus, for both 8-month and 10-month periods, is sold out.

But for those 450 students without a spot and students too late to get a pass, there are always parking meters found around campus. Popular locations include, California Ave., Sunset Ave., and Vanier Circle. With the going rate at $1.50 per hour and with approximately six hour days on campus, it can cost as little as $45 every week in pesky loonies and quarters.

If none of these options appeal to you then you might decide to seek out a pass for the parking garage on Sunset Ave. These passes are sold at $550 a spot for an 8-month school year. It’s close, it’s convenient and it’s only the price of one month’s rent. But with such a secure parking spot, you could practically live in your car when you run out of rent money.

University of Windsor student, Samantha Di Fazio believes the school should offer more affordable parking: “They offer different things like having the parking garage but for some of us the parking garage is actually a lot more expensive compared to the hunting pass.”

Although the prices may be high, Parking Services is using the money for positive initiative. Some of which include accommodations for electric cars in the parking garage, increased the number of parking spaces available to students in the parking garage from 150 to 300 spaces and of course, upkeep of parking lots.

Customer Service to our students is a high priority and we have instituted the ability to purchase a parking permit online, pay a parking ticket and as well, we are very close to launching a pay by cell option for parking on campus – Butler-Grondin.

Unfortunately for students, there are no options that are collectively safe, convenient and affordable.  For students who drive to school, a sacrifice will have to be made. But after the price of tuition, textbooks, rent, food and gas, what is a few extra hundred dollars spent of a parking pass?

About author
Grace Howes

Grace Howes

Third year Digital Journalism and English Literature and Language Major. Talk to me about dogs, the environment and food. Lover of extravagant beverages of all types.

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