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Dear comrades, I stand here before you to address an issue that has been affecting each and every one of you listening to me today. First of all, I would like to thank our founder father Anthony J.Drexel who had a vision for quality education when he commissioned the Wilson brothers to design Drexel institute in 1891.What was in his mind was to create a beautiful State of the art institution in the 66 acre land for the benefit of all the students and the faculty members (http://www.drexel.edu). What he did was good and we pay tribute to his efforts and his vision because we are here because him. But the issue of parking is what has made me come here today and invite all of you so that we may address it and find the way forward. The problem of parking is here with us and it is time we find a way of how to solve it. We have 3 buildings for parking but we pay too much for it. The tuition fees are too high also and the parking pay is not included in the tuition fees. We pay the parking fees per term and yet the parking spaces are very few. I believe the problem is solvable because all we have to do is share ideas and come up with a lasting solution. The administration increased the parking rates for Fall 2009-Summer 2010 giving reasons that it was due to the increasing costs of maintaining the parking facilities, insurance, security, utilities, and snow removal. But the main reason that the parking fees are high is because of the demand for the parking spaces in this university.
The real problem is not the inadequate parking spaces but the inefficient management of the available spaces that have caused most parking problems in major cities (Litman). So I believe we as the students together with the administration of this university have the solution to this problem. After consulting with some members of this institution, some of the suggestions that they came up included the following.
- The parking fees should be included in the high tuition fees that we pay per term. Thus we should not be charged extra for the parking facilities.
- The parking fees should be charged per day and not per term. This is because it is not everyday that we drive to Campus. The way it is right now is that even when you are not in campus or when you have been given a lift, you have to pay for the parking space.
- The University should implement overflow parking plans and create more parking spaces in the 66 acre land so as to facilitate efficiency of parking. Also it should work on improving other off-site facilities that can be used as parking spaces.
- The university should offer transport to and from the Campus to students so as to discourage them from driving their own cars to Campus.
- The administration should work with the local transit so as to reduce demand for parking spaces.
- Those students who do not live far off should be encouraged to walk to Campus or motivated to cycle.
These are some of the solutions that should be implemented to reduce the parking problem. And if implemented, this will reduce stress, improve the overall image of the campus, and give peace of mind and satisfaction to the University fraternity. This will improve on productivity since it will increase the time and energy for the students and staff as well.
Though the solutions I have stated above can be implemented and become workable, they cannot all be implemented at once. There is need to know that some of these solutions will take time and the problem we have here is immediate. Also the solutions stated are definitely not favorable to everyone and I know most students and staff as well will oppose them vehemently. Most students will not like to walk or cycle to school. Others will not be comfortable with the local transit. The University on the other hand may be reluctant in offering us transport to and from Campus and if it did the transport may be unreliable and inefficient inconveniencing most students. to build new parking spaces will take time and we as the students will be forced to cough up more money for the same project and I guess we are not ready for that or are we? The university is reluctant on reducing the parking fees on the basis of trying to discourage students from driving to school. But doing this without offering an alternative is not a solution.
The solution to this problem lies with the administration and the students. The University should stop charging parking fees per term and lower the parking fees to what it was before. In this regard I believe all the students are in agreement with me. The students on the other hand should find another means of coming to school. We can have a situation whereby not everybody drives to school.
So my dear comrades it is upon us to find a solution as members of this institution. If we have to drive to school, let us make arrangements and see how we can be driving using as few cars as possible. We can organize among ourselves and see how one car can ferry 4 or 5 students. A saloon car with a capacity of 5 passengers carrying only one is the cause of limited parking lots
- Litman, Todd. "Parking Management: Innovative Solutions to Vehicle Parking Problem."06 February 6, 2010. <http://www.planetizen.com/node/19149>
- "Updates." September 2009 .Drexel Parking Services. February 6, 2010 <http://www.drexel.edu/dbs/parkingservices/parkingpermits.html#ParkingRates>