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Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 27

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Got them old parking trouble blues

Marcus Cardenas

Word problem: A car seating one passenger leaves home at 9:05 a.m. The passenger arrives at the Entrance 1 parking lot 25 minutes later, and after a 15-minute hike to class, arrives at his 10 a.m. class 20 minutes late. How is this possible?

Answer: It took him 35 minutes and 3 different parking lots to find an empty parking space. It wasn't even a completely legal parking space; it was one of those semilegal, temporarily permitted (I can only assume, there aren't any signs posted) spaces on the outside of those yellow boundaries at the end of a row of cars.

Hey, I'm just one of the hundreds of jerks who's done it this year, and I only did it that one time.

The parking here at UH has always been a topic of complaint -- a good icebreaker when making small talk with new classmates. 

And, as expected from us, the generation who complains about everything but doesn't do anything about it, we have complained ad nauseam about the parking problems but have done nothing about it. 

I would like to change that pattern a little by proposing a solution to our parking predicament.

We don't need to add more spaces by expanding outward; we need to build upwards. Why not add a second story to the parking lot at Entrance 1?

We need more spaces desperately. Before whining too much about the parking difficulties, I decided that it wouldn't be fair unless I allowed some time for some students to drop classes, or skip them, or find more affordable lots on the outskirts of the George R. Brown Convention Center.

It's been about a month since school started, and although the lack of available spaces has decreased somewhat, it's still nowhere near tolerable -- especially with people who still need to purchase an unlimited number of parking tags for the limited spaces that are available.

I did feel a little guilty after parking "in the aisle," so to speak. I didn't get much help from one of the employees walking around the lots checking tags. Our conversation went as follows: "Is it legal to park on the outside of those yellow lines at the end of the rows?" "Yes." "Is the lot full?" "No."

I did get one answer from that quick exchange: He didn't know the answer to my question either.

Wouldn't it be nice to have the parking lot at Entrance 1 nearly doubled? Parking would be more organized as the day went on, so there wouldn't be that scramble for empty spaces. When afternoons roll around, the congested bottleneck at the entrance caused by too many people coming and going would no longer be a problem.

A side exit (exit only), maybe even two, leading out to Calhoun or whatever it is now may help. A bonus to the ones who get here early every day: They'll get treated to day-long shade on the first level.

What about the Entrance 16 and Melcher parking lots, you ask? I presume that a lot of that congestion comes from students who know they can't find a decent parking spot near the University Center area. I would hope that congestion will be cleared up as well.

Now for the C-word, which I'm sure you've already wondered about. What about the cost? Well, we seem to get something new or improved every year, like directional signs or cool parking tags with pictures. Why not a two-story parking lot? 

I wouldn't mind paying two or three dollars more for my tag if I knew the money was going to help fund this project. Perhaps some of our alumni might want to donate money, or even better, pay for the whole thing. How about the Clyde the Glide In and Out Parking Facility?
 

Cardenas, a junior creative writing major,
can be reached at Geminimeg88@hotmail.com.
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