Students need more parking options at UNI



Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe pens a column advocating for the implementation of parking garages on UNI’s campus.

BRENNA WOLFE, Opinion Columnist

The University of Northern Iowa needs more on-campus parking, and parking garages are a great way to optimize their space.

Every weekday, if you drive on the streets east of College Street (The Hill), there is an abundance of cars parking on the street.

Good luck trying to find a place to park.

These cars are owned by students and faculty that are trying to find a close spot to the main campus, and sometimes their only option is blocks away from campus. During the winter, off-campus students who may have walked to school in the warm months are now driving to avoid the extreme cold.

UNI needs to add parking that is close to central campus, and a parking garage would save a lot of space.  

Why a parking garage over a lot?

First, parking garages are expected to last 50 to 70 years longer than parking lots, which need to be maintained or paved every few years, according to Build a Better Burb.

Cars do not do well in the cold. Rain, snow, wind and other weather can leave dirt and acid on a vehicle that can cause significant damage to the exterior, such as rust. A parking garage would provide better protection from the elements than parking on the street would.

Many of us experienced the struggle of cars not starting due to the extreme low temperatures over winter break. Parking garages can help with this problem, too, because it protects vehicles from the wind.

In addition, parking garages provide the opportunity for UNI to expand up or down instead of horizontally.

Parking lots take up more space than parking garages. Some parking lots on campus are so large that they lead to a long walk, just to reach one’s destination. For example, the “R” and “C” lots can cause dorm students to have a 20-minute walk to their cars.

Most other universities have handfuls of parking garages, and UNI should take more steps in that direction.

The eastern, northern and southern parts of campus have adequate parking. The Multi-Model Transportation Center in the north is a great place for students and faculty to park if they are heading to Bartlett, Lang, the dorms or the physics building.

The “A” lots behind Schindler and near Russell Hall provide acceptable parking for faculty, but not for students. Many people would love to see “B” lots here.

Lastly, the southern part of campus provides enough parking in the “A” and “B” lots by the Industrial Technology Center.

Still, we need some type of parking for the eastern part of campus, which is where the majority of students are located.

This is not a new issue that UNI has faced; students and faculty have been calling for more parking options for years.

I am not even going to bring up the “CP” lot fiasco that happens every year (just ask any dorm student how there is never enough CP parking spaces).

With this many upset people, it is time for UNI to make changes. Please give us more parking!