North campus still without parking

An exhausting 30-minute walk in the dark, rain, snow or wind is what it takes for many students and faculty to park on UK’s campus. From day one as a student, many find this to be a frustrating aspect regarding university and campus life.

Over the past few years, UK has experienced a construction boom with a new football facility, dorms on north and south campus, other dorms currently in the works and a student center. These improvements are welcomed by all, but they have not generated new parking opportunities for faculty and students.

Commonwealth Stadium is the hub of parking for many at UK. During the week, students abandon their cars in the stadium lots, with frustrating stipulations during football season. Living on south campus provides a short, easy walk to retrieve your car, but students who reside on north campus are forced to face a grueling challenge, especially when weather provides complications.

There should be additional parking on UK’s north campus to withstand the demand of more students residing in that area.

UK works to make parking “easier” on students by providing free Lextran bus services from 6:45 a.m.- 8 p.m. on weekdays and free parking in E Lots on weekends. Even with these services, parking on campus is still a difficult task. Locating parking spots wastes valuable study time as students must travel long distances to get their cars. Driving across campus can also be strenuous with many traffic hassles near the hospitals and on Avenue of Champions.

Staff are affected as well. Teachers are forced to park long distances from their offices, leading students to lose valuable instruction time due to teachers exploring campus in search of a spot.

One solution to add additional parking can be at the new student center site. Rather than building a parking lot, the university should construct a new substantial parking garage in its place. We should also seek new parcels of land in order to create new parking structures on north campus. Although expensive, multi-story parking structures result in an efficient use of land. Having a parking garage at the student center could be useful in serving as a parking hub for north campus, just as Commonwealth Stadium serves on south campus. This would increase both student and faculty parking, relieving both of stress.

Parking on UK’s campus has been a great conversation starter for years, but it is time to stop talking and start planning.

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