Parking pains the first week of class rightfully bring to mind profane variants of USF’s mascot – the bull – for even the most polite students, and they have good cause to be angry. Congestion and lack of spaces in parking lots is likely exacerbated by Parking and Transportation Services’ own practices.
Parking and Transportation knowingly oversells non-resident student and staff parking permits, although they claim not to oversell resident-student and gold-staff permits.
Manny Lopez, director of Parking and Transportation, said he does not see the imbalance of supply and demand created by his department as a problem.
In today’s Oracle, Lopez said overselling doesn’t play as great a role in shortages as
students’ spoiled tastes. According to Lopez, students are missing spots because they want to park only where it’s convenient.
“It’s not necessarily that we oversell parking permits,” he said. “There is parking on campus, just not in front of the buildings that people need to be.”
He said he could easily take any student, put him or her in a car, and put that car in a spot with a little creative spot-scouting. He pointed to spots at the Laurel Drive garage, which he estimated were unfilled about half the time.
But spot-scouting wastes time, be it in the extra drive or the half-mile walk in Florida’s heat. More importantly, consumers of parking passes are customers of Transportation and Parking Services who pay a lot for the pass-product. It is poor business ethics to make a product that boasts feasibility when it’s truly tough to use.
Granted, there’s no
contractual guarantee for
convenience or good service with the purchase of parking pass. And students, faculty, and staff are pretty much at the mercy of Parking and Transportation Services’ responsibility to do a good job, because it holds a monopoly over parking on campus. Regardless of its upper hand, the lack of spots near the most- frequented classrooms and offices should be addressed.
There’s also a safety issue. After a late-running night class, it’s not safe to walk long distances, let alone through remote parking lots. Consider that police still haven’t nabbed the serial rapist at large in the USF area.
Parking and Transportation Services should act to end the parking problem on campus as a practical matter of traffic and an ethical matter of business stewardship, even if that requires fewer passes be sold.