|Wednesday, February 10, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 90
Mahmoudi on Valentines
Ed De La Garza
Nobody parks, nobody wins
Tuesday, the Cougar baseball team wasn't the only losing group on campus.
Students trying to park on the north and west sides of the University found themselves out of luck in the early afternoon when the crowd arrived to watch the Cougars take on the Rice Owls at Cougar Field.
The spectator traffic was particularly heavy around the Entrance 16 parking lots, which are located directly across Cullen from the baseball stadium. Visitors -- without UH parking permits -- crowded the visitors' lot, the student lot and even the faculty/staff lot, causing traffic pile-ups and illegal parking situations and keeping students trying to get to class from being able to find any space at all.
What is more, several members of the Rice baseball staff arrived before the game and parked in the UH faculty and staff lot.
UH Police Department officers were present in the parking lots, but they were just there for crowd control -- not to keep control of parking.
It created a big hassle for UH students, faculty and staff who found themselves inching around dangerously close corners caused by people who illegally parked, then playing games of chicken with visitors for the rare vacant spaces, as the police sat and watched.
The strange thing was that the baseball spectators didn't have to pay to park. Those of you who have attended Cougar football or basketball games remember that you were directed to park in designated lots -- and you had to pay $5. But today, not only were spectators able to park in any lot they chose, but they were able to do it for free.
It's unfair to those of us who pay to park when we have trouble finding a space on a daily basis. But it's extremely unfair when we have to dodge traffic, deal with militant Rice intellectuals and drive around the parking lot for 45 minutes -- and still not be able to find a space.
Something should be done to avoid a pile-up like there was this afternoon. Either visitors attending baseball games should be asked to park in certain lots that don't normally experience high student or faculty traffic, or they should be required to pay to park on campus.
It's the only fair thing for UH to do. We're sure they wouldn't want thousands of paying customers to be unhappy -- or more unhappy than they already are.
In Monday's Page 9 Sports article "Cougar baseball looks for revenge against Rice," Rice Owls All-American shortstop Damon Thames' name was misspelled.
The Daily Cougar regrets this error.