Parking at DU causes frustration and angst among students

At the University of Denver, the most agitating part of a student’s life should be class. Unfortunately for some, parking, rather than education itself, is one of the more dominant stressers in life. With limited space and time for street parking and expensive passes for on-campus parking, the options presented to students are often perceived as unreasonable.

Beginning in 2016, the University of Denver has begun implemented their “Parking Master Plan.” The main objective of the plan centers around creating a more eco-friendly campus for students, faculty and staff at the university, as well as encouraging use of public transportation rather than driving cars.

One of the proposed parts of the plan is to raise the price for parking passes by 10%, when the price of the passes already deters many students. “I personally feel like parking at DU is inconvenient and expensive,” says DU senior Annie Liu. Parking passes cost around $570 yearly at DU, so many students instead use hourly parking lots. “I pay eight dollars every day, so that’s sixteen dollars a week… it’s more affordable than getting a parking pass,” says Liu.IMG_1444

Additionally, even though the university reports peak parking capacity to be around 70%, students find parking in-lot to be difficult to find or limited by time. “I do notice there is very limited parking, which I find surprising,” says DU senior Brielle Durant. “God forbid you are over your time limit, you get a ticket for 50 bucks.” That price is often considered a lot for students who are on a tight budget.

Another downside of trying to park nearby DU is the hourly limits posted on the city-owned streets. According to the City of Denver’s Parking Plan, the city works with “stakeholders to determine time restrictions,” and the stakeholders being those who live in the neighborhoods and drive the streets daily. This directly contradicts with the opinions of students who live in the neighborhoods surrounding DU, therefore being the stakeholders referred to by the city.

The time limits proposed are also used to “promote turnover in high demand areas,” according to the City of Denver. However, this causes problems for students who are forced to park on the city streets surrounding the university. “I think a bummer is a lot of the places it’s only for one hour, and most classes are at least two, so they kind of screw you there” says Durant.

IMG_1480Even more frustrating for students is that with all of the parking services, university and city both, patrolling the area around campus, it is almost impossible to avoid a ticket. However, the parking service can be inconsistent on one end or another, and depends on the timing rather than continuous patrol. “I think it’s just luck or unluck,” says DU junior Liam McHugh.

To address the growing problem of parking being unaffordable or inconvenient for students, a university-run transportation service could be a viable alternative. “Maybe something like a campus shuttle would be cool,” says Durant. Larger schools like the University of Colorado and Colorado State University utilize that method with much success and use by students.


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