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Wood: We paved over paradise

September 15, 2018

Wood: We paved over paradise

Parking. Yes, the residents of Provo (especially those living in the four blocks just south of BYU) are still talking about it. This is an issue that has debated over and over again yet has only progressively gotten worse.

I am a junior at BYU — one of many fellow students in need of a listening ear. Parking violations are handed out like candy on Christmas during the first weeks of BYU’s fall semester and throughout the year. And while much of the fault lies with those who park illegally, a wider perspective warrants the question, why are so many residents parking illegally? And why has it been this way for decades?

The simple answer is the student to parking space ratio is completely out of proportion. BYU currently has about 7,000 parking spaces for undergraduate students, with a shocking 31,000 undergraduates in attendance at the university – 81 percent of which live in off-campus housing. And with parking permit passes cashing in at $60 a semester (that’s a total of $480 dollars for parking for just a four-year degree), the majority of these students are in need of more parking spaces and many end up with parking violations.

This statistical, blatantly obvious parking problem is also a safety issue. In my personal experience, I have received parking tickets for parking illegally simply because there was absolutely no parking available. Several times, I have forced to park near a stop sign at an intersection after returning home from campus very late at night.

I know several BYU students who walk several blocks every night back to their apartment complexes alone in the dimly lit streets south of BYU campus due to a lack of parking spaces. 2018 has landed the majority of BYU students with cars in off-campus housing with wads of parking violations and no one to listen, while the city collects students’ hard-earned dollars that maybe — just maybe — could have been used to pay for that $480 parking pass.

— Amber Wood, Provo

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