By Richard Larson, Opinion Editor
Ruffling feathers is a talent I’ve never been proud of, but it often brings a surge of realism to the voice of my peers.
UNO administrators recently rolled out parking “solutions” for campus that are, at best, a joke on the proverbial problem students, faculty and staff have been fed up with for years.
Seriously? This is what state funding, grants, donations and our own student fees are contributing to? Enough is enough. If the collective intention of this developing educational institution is to achieve 20,000 enrolled students by 2020, then perhaps we toss another 20 in the clever campaign by adding enough parking stalls to match the prestigious goals. Maybe 20 more floors of parking between a couple of centrally-located garages?
On Feb. 4, a public meeting was slated for discussion regarding parking updates and information. Due to the adverse weather conditions, UNO closed that day and the meeting was canceled.
While promotional efforts for this meeting were minimal to begin with, we didn’t hear much about rescheduling. Perhaps that’s because it was never rescheduled? A narrow escape for what was sure to be a heated roundtable.
The updates that were likely planned for sharing do not prove of any significant worth to those of us without a reserved parking stall on the west side of the Eppley Administration Building.
Likely buzz to claim efforts are being made to counter the poisons of parking, programs like ride sharing are never going to catch on or be realistic to college students.
The alternatives to traditional parking included the already-known MavRide program, the Zimrideride sharing system, the two Zipcars located in Lot N and the Emergency Ride Home Service coming soon.
MavRide is nothing new, othert han faculty and staff can now receive passes. Zimride, while innovative, is incredibly unlikely to be significantly impacting. Zipcar has been on campus for a good amount of time and is utilized a laughable amount during peak-population times during the school week.
I have trouble with understanding the generic definition of an emergency for the final option that is yet to roll out. A free taxi to take people home when needed? Is this when I run out of gas, or when I need to get home before my favorite television series or game is on?
You are probably reading this behind your desk, after being handed a copy from your secretary or highly aware subordinate. Or maybe this is being read and discussed in a board meeting.
Either option will yield the same results. You will furnish The Gateway with a politically correct letter in a confidential envelope after feeling wrongly accused or targeted. Or more predictably: no comment as you ignore another source that stokes the flames of the parking fire.
Fellow students, faculty and staff, it’s time. Let’s make the issue more real to those not living the catastrophe personally. Suppose 100 of us stand in the reserved parking stalls that line Eppley one morning, before the suited-solutioneers get to campus. Gee whiz, then those administrators would have to begin searching for an alternative parking spot.
Better yet, I propose each of the administrators to swap their reserved stall for a standard parking pass that we all use until reasonable and quantifiable progress is made.
I hear rumors of Pacific Campus updates. Sounds like a great wayto make use of our often crowded and slow-moving shuttle system. Or the possibility of a parking garage erected in Lot H. That would make complete sense to put a garage next to another on the out–skirts of Dodge Campus. Kudos? I think not.