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YSU should invest in parking

Published: Wed, June 8, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

YSU should invest in parking

The meter has run out on Youngstown State University’s M-2 parking deck. Instead of continuing to waste money on expensive and superficial repairs on a near 40-year-old dilapidated, poor excuse of a parking deck, YSU must wise up, tear down M-2, and build a safer, larger deck.

Last fall semester, a YSU student found his car damaged by falling debris from the deck. Sections were constantly being roped off as more of the structure begins to crumble. The deck’s horrid condition also made it more inviting for crime, as proven by the armed robbery that took place there earlier this spring semester.

YSU’s solution is to stuff more coins into the meter and buy time. Renovations, which begin on April 18, are only meant to last 10 years. Afterward, a new deck is to be built, but only time will tell if that will become a reality. If it does, the likely time frame will probably be longer, as the WATTS center delays prove. During renovations, students who can’t find a parking spot, must park at the Covelli Centre and be shipped by a bus. Students buy parking passes to park, not to take a bus. If YSU plans to inconvenience its students to this extent, it should be for a higher reward than a slightly more stable deck that will need to be replaced soon.

YSU, largely a commuter school, should be planning for the future. In recent years, lack of parking spaces has become a frustration for all students. About 15,000 students enrolled for Fall 2010 and 11, 645 purchased parking permits, yet there are only 6,361 spots on campus. A new deck with more spaces is not a luxury, but a necessity based on increasing enrollment trends.

For a campus that prides itself on being one of the safest, YSU would be wise to invest in a deck with better safety measures. As the campus continues to extend it borders, it becomes less of a safe haven in the middle of one of the most crime and poverty ridden cities in the country.

Building a new parking deck would require funding. Parking Services has proposed adding a $9 per credit hour surcharge, amounting to $108 for full-time students. This is $30 more than students pay now for a permit. While this does add to the financial burden of already struggling college students, it will be more than worth it.

So if YSU officials would like to charge students $108 to park each semester, give them something in return: the comfort of knowing that they won’t be robbed at gunpoint or return to their car to find parts of an ever-crumbling deck on top of it. If the budget allows for an innovative training center, a brand new, state-of-the-art business building, and one of the tallest rock-climbing walls in the state, surely it can allow for a way for students to park safely.

Jenn Zdelar, Struthers


1valleyred(1102 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

m8ke_the_call, you should know that the land purchased by YSU on the west end of campus is for the use of the Athletic Dept. They plan to build a new softball complex and soccer field (w/ potential track) across the street from Stambaugh.

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2garyparking(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

If there are about twice as many students who have parking passes than there are spaces why not raise the parking pass to the point where there are just as many passes as spaces. Then use the extra money to build a new parking deck. It seems to make little sense to charge people who are not parking to raise money to build a parking deck. Let the people who want to park raise the money.

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3walter_sobchak(2116 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The land across from Stambaugh Stadium will be used for the fields. If people don't come to YSU for sports, why is parking for the football and basketball games a joke? However, with my knowledge of the current condition of the M-2 deck, it is a total waste of funds to rehabilitate this structure. It has reached it's useful life long ago and needs replaced with a newer deck. There is way too much salt damage and the deck is functionally obsolete.

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4Briscoe(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The investment in a parking structure would be a poor use of YSU\\\'s taxpayer & student funded dollars. Not that I disagree that parking is sometimes an issue, but the economics of constructing, let alone maintaining a parking deck just doesn\\\'t make sense. An elevated parking structure typically costs upwards of $30,000 per stall. A surface parking lot costs about $3,000 per stall. Given the fact that the property value in and around Youngstown is amongst the lowest in the nation and there are several empty parcels around the university, the solution - if it is determined that more parking is needed once the Lincoln Ave deck reopens - is to construct one or more surface lots.

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5valleyred(1102 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

YSU is a Division 1 school and is upgrading its facilities to be on a Division 1 level. We currently play softball at a little league park in Canfield and play soccer on a field with a crown. Try playing soccer on a field with a crown.

The bottom line is the athletic facility improvements have been planned for years and beautify YSU's presence along the Madison Avenue Expressway. There is plenty of areas YSU could add parking throughout campus or around campus.

My secret to the parking mess, schedule early classes and you won't have a problem.

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