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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Honor Parking - Why Not?

Nick Shockey, former ASR senator and current senior, hasn't let his loss in last spring's ASR presidential election slow him down. He is continuing to push forward a proposal he initiated last year to create short-term (15-20 minutes) parking spots at various campus locations.

Shockey's plan is to designate a half dozen spots on campus (where students are often currently ticketed) as they run in and out of buildings on quick errands. Some proposed spaces include Thomas Hall first floor, in front of the Witt Center, in the lot between Ruth Taylor and Northrup, and in the Heidi Circle.

Nick has looked at various options such as placing parking meters at these locations. This creates some issues as Security will have to spend even more time in parking lots rather than keeping campus safe. It also means that someone needs to remove coins, track revenue, etc. Meters would also be targets for thieves and vandals.

The issue is really how to monitor students who take advantage of these quick 15 minute spots and remain for longer periods of time (a meal, a class, a meeting). Identifying these spots is easy. Leaving enforcement to Security is problematic. (Security is often characterized unfairly for overzealous enforcement, which is really done to simply support those who have paid for the right to park.)

Why not make the spots 15 minute honor spots? The punishment for abusing the privilege would simply be the ire of other students who can't take advantage of the parking places. Post signs identifying these as honor spots, hazards required, and let students have at them. It would reinforce the ultimate on self-governance. Security wins as they don't have to enforce the use of the spots and students won't get tickets that frustrate them.

Nick will continue to work with the Traffic and Parking Committee. If you support his plan, let others on the committee know.


Pam said...

I am a parent of a Senior & a Junior at Trinity. I live in a small country, The Netherlands. Parking is expensive here in the main cities. However, in the small villages, there is what they call "Blue Parking". It's free, but there is a blue card that has a dial on it that resembles a clock. When you park in these blue areas you set your blue card to the present time. If you are parked longer than the time allowed then you are given a ticket violation, which is 60 euros. Perhaps something of this nature would work for your special parking spaces. If you would like a scan/photo of this item, please let me know. Good Luck! Pam Hall,

Greg said...

I saw on Discovery Channel a solar powered, wifi connected, credit card accepting parking meter. Perhaps these programmed to accept Tiger Bucks via ID swipe would help. Only Trinity students could use them and the money collecting and accounting system is already in place with no coins to collect. Security would still be stuck with violation enforcement, though.

txtrinitytiger said...

I remember when I was a student at Trinity and would always complain about visitors using up parking spaces...

Now that I'm an alumn, I always complain about students parking in visitor spaces, go-figure :)