Dude, where’s my car?


The immediate three-block radius of the campus periphery has been designated a restricted parking area by the City of Denver

 Many students at the University of Denver find campus parking frustrating. The one-hour parking zones surrounding campus and the expensive costs for permits make it difficult for students to find a place to park their cars.

There are several parking garages and paid hourly parking available for students, yet the majority of students

live off campus and do not purchase parking passes, and occasionally use their cars to drive to class.

Claire Buchta, a junior at DU, voiced her opinion regarding parking around campus, “it sucks, I think the tickets should be ten dollars maximum and I think parking on campus should be more affordable in general.”

She is living in University Lofts, an off campus apartment, and bought a parking pass for the building, but she still uses her car to drive to class on occasion.

“I drive to my class which is in the Mass Communications building, but I have to leave class half way through in order to avoid a ticket in the one-hour parking zone” she said.

Due to the fact that the immediate three-block radius of the campus periphery has been designated a restricted parking area by the City of Denver; parking is restricted to residents and their guests, and one-hour visitors only.

Another student, Ali Donnermeyer, said, “I used to get parking tickets all the time for leaving my car for too many hours on a single day at Penrose library.”

However, there are some areas around campus where students can park their cars and have close access to class buildings, but they come with a price.

Parking permits are available for students at several lots around campus

Permits range anywhere from $63.00, which is only valid for one quarter, to the most expensive permit, which is $828.00, and anywhere in between. There are permits available for only weekends, only nights, or annual permits.

According to the DU parking policy, “Parking is limited on various parts of campus, thus this department has been authorized to manage the demand by formulating and enforcing parking rules and regulations, charging fees and fines, and otherwise regulating parking on campus.”

Parking in perspective 

Although many students find the parking situation very frustrating, the parking manager for DU, Buddy Knox, puts things into perspective. He has been working as the parking manager for seven years.

Knox said, “The University of Denver is a pedestrian campus, and it’s meant to be walking friendly, and it is not that big of a campus.”

The issue with parking around DU is not particularly about availability but more about convenience.

“We do lot counts every month and we know that on any given day we have about 3,700 cars parked on campus at any given time, and we have about 5,000 parking spaces so we have extra spaces they are just not close to the center of campus,” Knox said, “So we don’t have a parking problem, but we have a walking problem.”

Even though the campus may not be very large in distance, the majority of students do not live on campus, and face a rather hefty walk from their off campus housing to class.

“Everybody has an expectation of parking at the front door for free, so I‘m here to help educate people that parking is a commodity, just like bread just like clothing, you have to purchase a commodity,” Knox said.

Alternatives to driving

 There are several resources that the city of Denver and DU have provided to help reduce the amount of traffic and parking issues in the city.

Students at DU receive an RTD pass, which allows them to use to the light rail for access to the majority of the city of Denver.

DU has programs such as the Lot E green permit, which is aimed at rewarding owners of fuel-efficient vehicles with more convenient parking spaces. They also have the DU shuttle that circles campus on a fixed route stopping at high-traffic destinations.

Another resourceful program within the city of Denver as well as DU is the Denver Bike sharing program, which allows anyone to pick up a bike at any bike sharing station and drop it off whenever you are done. This is a healthy, environmentally friendly, and affordable form of transportation.

“Its all a matter of perspective,” Knox said, “I think that we as a nation are spoiled in that we want to park for free at the front door. But really when you think about it, there’s no where that you cant walk on our campus as a normal, healthy human being.”

Students can visit the University of Denver parking services website for more information about purchasing permits, paying tickets, and much more.

2 Responses to Dude, where’s my car?

  • Brendan Cronin
    Brendan Cronin says:

    I think you did a great job with this article. Parking is definitely an issue near the DU campus, but it is also a very big issue on most college campuses. It is especially an issue here because it is a small campus, so there is not a lot of parking, but there is also a large percentage of students who live off campus. I think you did a great job interviewing the students with their complaints, but you also did a great job interviewing Buddy Knox. Knox definitely gave some valid points, as well as some points that students might disagree with (i.e. using the DU shuttle service, which is a complete joke!) However, you had a very balanced article and did a great job addressing most students’ complaints! Great job!

  • Di Yao
    Di Yao says:

    Parking on DU campus is always a complaint for students, but you are not only addressing this issue from students’ view. Also, you have different views on parking in the article which make this article balanced. I think you did a great job.

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