The idea of not having a car in Miami, even if it’s only a parent’s beat-up station wagon, may seem inconceivable for the students who have residential parking permits.
But with a car comes the hassles of finding a spot.
“I sometimes end up searching for parking up to an hour every day, which unfortunately always makes me late for class,” said senior Claudia Crousillat, a commuter student.
With the need for more parking spaces on campus, the university has decided that non-commuting freshmen will not be allowed parking permits for the fall 2008 semester.
“It has been thought about for years,” Patricia A. Whitely, vice president of Student Affairs, said.
The decision was reached last spring by various parties comprising Business Services, Student Affairs and the Department of Parking and Transportation.
“Currently there are 600 freshmen with cars, and this decision will free up about 600 newly available parking spaces,” said Alan Fish, vice president of Business Services.
Less parked cars on campus means less money invested in building more parking garages. Fish said that building 600 parking spaces costs almost the same amount of money as constructing a new $12 million parking garage. Also, parking spots are estimated to cost $10,000 to $15,000.
Although the freshmen permit ban will cut back on decal purchases, this will not affect the Parking and Transportation department’s parking decal revenue significantly, Fish said.
The decision is a relief for commuter students, but may be a drawback to living on campus for incoming freshmen.
“If that’s the plan, I would, unfortunately, have to take that into consideration when it comes time to decide what school I’m going to,” said Rachel Levine, a high school senior from New York. “I come from a suburb and my car is a huge part of my life. I don’t think I’m willing to give it up that easily, and I don’t want to change my lifestyle that much.”
Still, President Donna E. Shalala said that there will be a parking garage on Red Road next to new apartment complexes, which are not owned by the university. Students will be able to pay to rent a spot there.
Despite the woes of incoming freshmen, commuter students are looking forward to reaping the benefits of the new rule.
“The school provides a lot of transportation that is really more than enough,” Monica Castor said. “As a freshman I would have hated the decision, but as a commuter I am relieved.”
Though more spots will be available next fall, students still struggle with the mechanics of parking, especially those in the School of Communication and music school’s parking lots.
“I hate to park in the communication school parking lot because my SUV is always getting scratched when I do,” Daniela Fernandez, a senior, said. “I would rather take the bus instead to prevent it from happening.”
Alcione Gonzalez may be contacted at email@example.com.
1) School of Communication parking spots: 7.75 ft wide and 13 ft long.
2) Allen Hall: 7.75 ft wide 17 ft long
3) Schwartz Nursing School: 7.5 ft wide and 14 ft long (spots were previously smaller, and the parking lines were faded to make them bigger)
4) Law School/Frost School of Music: 7.75 ft wide and 14 ft long
5) Wellness Center/Stanford Residential College: 8.75 ft wide and 19.75 ft long
6)Percent of total annual permits issued: