On & Off-Campus Parking

The age-old parking safety debate has reignited amongst new and returning Pacific University students

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On & Off-Campus Parking

Grace Perrine

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It’s not a secret Forest Grove isn’t exactly the safest city in the state of Oregon. Every night, there are sirens howling from the streets, that aren’t lit very well. A lack of parking on Pacific University’s campus isn’t just a small convenience issue, it’s a safety concern for all students.

When asked about parking, Sophomore Emma Macleod voiced her concerns: “I don’t have a parking pass this year because I paid a lot of money last year only to park on the side of the road, which doesn’t cost anything.”

“Walking three blocks home as a female, alone, in the dark is scary,” Macleod added. Students shouldn’t be forced to walk home in the dark.

According to Cindy Shuppert, Director of Facilities Management & Campus Public Safety, and data compiled by her teams via spreadsheet, out of the 15 parking lots available across campus, only three are good for overnight with only ten spaces for commuters. The spreadsheet marks Lot I as an overnight parking lot, even though there’s no parking between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. This means, out of a total of 1,017 parking spaces, only 301 spaces are for overnight parking — less than 30% of the total parking.

Junior Tara Nee commutes 45 minutes to Pacific every day and struggles to find parking as well.

“My experience has been very disappointing. If I had realized there were so little parking spaces, I wouldn’t have paid for a pass,” Nee said. “Usually I’m parking on the streets surrounding campus. I’m terrified of getting a ticket, but if I move my car in order to reset the timer, I either won’t find another spot or lose mine.”

The parking spaces for commuter students are limited and parking on the street is difficult enough as there are time limits. Ten parking spaces is not enough for commuting students.

Shuppert noted that the selling of permits to students is not limited in any way, meaning no one has a guaranteed parking space. Parking has become enough of an issue and complaint from students that Shuppert has written a “to whom it may concern” letter highlighting why they can’t fix the issue.

According to a study done at the school, there’s adequate parking but it’s just not conveniently located. However, the street near Stoller Center is constantly lined with cars. Although street parking is legal and is considered as available parking, it just doesn’t seem safe for students to be walking home late at night in Forest Grove.

The truth is, most students from Pacific live on campus and need a place to park. This issue needs to be addressed and something needs to change, as paying $50 and not even getting a parking space isn’t cutting it anymore. Students deserve to have parking spaces available to them, especially with the steep price they pay just to attend the university.

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