YSU should invest in parking

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