The parking situation at Lewis & Clark is extremely mishandled. There are a scarcity of spots and the parking passes are incredibly expensive. But, based on the word around campus, the amount of parking tickets that students are receiving has risen abundantly in the past few weeks.
Student passes are very pricey and have only risen in cost in the past few years. The current price for a pass is $187 for a semester and $374 for the year, while daily permits run around $4 per day and $60 f0r the semester (if you are coming to campus two or fewer times per week). You can also purchase a shared carpool pass for $173 for the semester or $346 for the year.
If you add these costs to the expenses that students are already paying for college, books and rent or housing, the total price is astronomical. The costs that come with being a student are constantly rising. An LC meal plan alone is already $5,670 or more (depending on which plan you have) per year. We do not need the extra stress of fines for incorrectly parking because there are no open spots if we are already running late to class.
It was confirmed last September by the Office of Transportation and Parking that “many of the things we all love about the LC campus are also what limits our ability to quickly fix parking issues … as the city and college have grown, so have the traffic and congestion in the neighborhoods. To help mitigate this impact, LC has agreed to a traffic demand management plan with the city of Portland.” According to this report, we are understandably not allowed to park in the neighborhoods next to campus, nor are we allowed to park without a permit.
The Office goes on to give students suggestions for other places to park, many of which are a relatively long walk from campus, like the Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church or the graduate campus. Due to the fragile nature of the flora on campus and in the surrounding area, there are no plans for new parking lots.
However, this should not be the students’ problem. Apart from the “normal” parking, there is limited parking available for students with disabled person parking permits, and if they are unable to find a spot, are they expected to park 10 minutes away too? Additionally, taking the bus to campus time consuming, especially early in the morning, which only adds to the problem.
As students who often have a job, schoolwork and other outside activities on their plate, we do not have the time to worry about leaving earlier for school in case there are not enough spots, or have to be nervous about being late to class because we cannot find a spot. If the school is going to expect students to be on time to class and only sell permits at exorbitant prices because of the lack of available spots, yet not offer a truly viable alternative, they have no right to be ticketing us all the time.