Campus parking plan needed


One of the benefits of Baker University is that most students live on campus. At a larger school, like the University of Kansas, where many students commute, there are two problems for students: finding a parking spot and paying for a pass to park on campus.

Lately at Baker University, the parking situation for students living on campus and commuting students is beginning to be difficult as well. There are too many cars and not enough parking spaces near campus.

Residents of the New Living Center or Horn and Markham Apartments seem to have the biggest inconvenience. The parking lots behind Pulliam Hall and the NLC, as well as the side streets along the NLC, are constantly full. Many of the residents end up parking as far as the eastern section of the Gessner parking lot.

The problem is just as bad if students are commuting to campus.

The Mabee Hall parking lot is almost always full, which is normal; however, the Collins Center parking lot has seemed to have fewer spaces available as of late, too.

Commuting students have to get to Baldwin City at least 30 minutes before class to be sure they find a parking spot or to compensate for the walk from parking farther away and to still get to class on time.

A person living in the NLC or apartments shouldn’t have to park at the far end of the Gessner parking lot. A commuter student shouldn’t have to spend 30 minutes driving around campus looking for a parking spot to end up parking on the opposite end of campus from his or her class.

As the university works to attract more students to attend BU, it needs to take into account how many cars are on campus and how to compensate for the number of students beginning to bring their cars with them to Baldwin City. This means building another parking lot close to campus or finding a way to reduce the number of cars on campus.

At KU, commuting students pay $100 to purchase a parking permit. Residential students pay $190, and students can pay up to $235 to buy parking permits with access closer to central campus.

How can Baker afford to do build a new parking lot? An option could be by doing the same thing as KU, selling parking permits to students, but at a low price. The inconvenience of not bringing a car to school or parking far away means most students would likely be willing to pay a small $10 fee for a parking permit. That $10 is nothing compared to the almost $200 many students at KU pay. With the number of students bringing their cars to campus, the money should add up quickly.

No one wants to pay for parking. However, no one wants to walk a mile to class every day, either. A low cost parking permit with the intention of creating a new parking lot is a reasonable way to address the parking problem at Baker.