50 years of parking woes

50 years of parking woes

As the 50th anniversary approaches, so do all of the events that commemorate this auspicious moment in UMBC’s history. However, one drawback that remains the same is the lack of adequate parking and its effects on students and staff.

A sign was posted last week in Lot 8 off of Hilltop Road that said from Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. to Monday, Sept. 19, all faculty and staff members who held an E parking permit were able to park in any spot available to those who hold an A or D permit – the spaces designated for commuter students.

This means that any spots on the loop, the lots in between True Grit’s and the Physics building and even the Commons Garage would be fair game for faculty and staff members.

With the elimination of Lot 8, traffic on campus and the struggle to find a decent parking spot look to be getting even worse, even if only for a few days. Lot 8 houses a large portion of faculty and staff while Lots 29 and 22, reserved for students, are usually entirely filled by 11 a.m.

For those who are running late or have a further commute, they might find themselves in luck with a parking spot that is not in Stadium lot. However, this weekend the chance to find a parking spot in the Stadium lot will be slim to none.

Last year, it was reported that there were over 300 more parking permits issued than there were parking spots on campus, which is enough of a reason for concern. As commuters try to adjust to their new class schedules for the semester, having less parking spots on campus was not an issue that was accounted for.

Although the 50th anniversary is something that is worth celebrating to document the growth of UMBC not only as a school, but as an institution and brand, it does not come without its costs. In this case, it will cost commuter students from getting to class on time or even showing up to class at all.

As a school that is already infamous for its parking struggles, it is important to pose the question: is any school celebration worth hindering the classes that it was originally built to administer?