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The Blue & Gray Press | May 26, 2018

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Watch out for parked vehicles

parkingBy BRIDGET BALCH

There is one issue, of the many the students of the University of Mary Washington must face, that rises above all others. It’s not the reallocation of resources, the cost of textbooks or even the alleged gender discrimination in housing. No, it’s something that, should it continue to go unresolved, may result in fatal consequences.

I am, of course, referring to parking on College Avenue.

As highly as I esteem my fellow students and am sure that they are intelligent human beings–for the most part–I must say that parallel parking is not among their strong suits. Driving down College Avenue is almost like riding along an obstacle course.

Swerve to the left around that Escalade that is “parked” at a 45-degree angle from the curb, but don’t hit the Fred bus that’s speeding at you on the other side of the road! Even pedestrians should limit their texting while walking, since, if they’re not careful, they could find themselves walking right into the bumper of a car that is using the grass next the sidewalk as an extension to its spot.

I understand that the problem does not lie only with the students’ inability to parallel park, but with the entire set up of the parking system. With our campus designed as it is, the parking lots available to students must be located on the outskirts. The William Street lot, the parking deck and the commuter lot next to the creepy, old power house are off the beaten path, making them inconvenient for those who have classes in Monroe, Chandler and Trinkle, and making the spots on College Avenue that much more highly coveted.

Therefore, there is nothing more infuriating than driving along College Avenue in search of a spot, only to find several four or five-foot gaps between cars. If only you could just squish them all neatly closer together you could make room for more cars. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy fix for at least this issue. The various other problems with parking lots, tickets, etc. may be more complex, but the fix to the College Avenue problem is already half fixed.

On the left side of College Avenue when you’re coming from William Street, there are painted lines designating parking spots. This eliminates the issue of people double parking.

If lines were similarly painted on the other side of the street, it would certainly save the commuters at this school several headaches, and might even save a few lives. You never know what kind of rage a double parker can bring out in someone.