What should colleges do when dealing with students’ complaints about the lack of parking lots available?
There is a common issue that every student and professor is dealing with when arriving to college. This issue seems simple, yet it’s highly complex: parking lots.
People are saying that colleges should invest more in parking lots to justify the number of people arriving with cars. People who’re getting earlier every day to find a good parking spot. Sometimes, they do not even find a place, so they end up parking in the street. This is a reality in most universities today.
Overpopulation is affecting more and more countries every year. Population is increasing at a very high rate, but the amount of land remains the same. Are all these people supposed to have a car and the right to park in a spot? Absolutely not.
THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE PARKING LOTS AT COLLEGES
We fail in recognizing the root of this problem. People driving cars while there are limited spaces on the roads to drive decently.
The solution to this problem is not to simply add more parking lots to colleges. Even though the solution might sound tough and people might not want to accept it, they will have to learn in a forced way at some point in a near future.
The solution is to teach people to take public transportation options that do not take too much space on the road. That way we can both have clearer roads and more space for public transportation to travel more efficiently.
I am not saying to avoid cars, or to not buy your dream car or anything related. What I am saying, however, is to start using your car just for essential trips. If you do the numbers, you can see the difference from another perspective. A bus can fit almost 30 people, but when you imagine this 30 people in 30 different cars, then they can take half of a football stadium.
It’s all about learning to distinguish your essential trips from your non-essential ones. If you imagine the 30,000 students from an average university in the USA having a car, there is no stadium parking lot that can fit them adequately in the university to then be able to walk 5 minutes to get to class. Whenever you go to a stadium and you park your car, it takes even more than 15 minutes to get to the entrance, this is because of the parking space that needs to be big enough to justify the number of people attending a live game. Rather than looking at the situation from another perspective, college students would rather complain and talk nonsense about colleges having to spend money to increase parking lots. The problem is not about the way universities spend their budget, but about the efficiency and effectiveness of public transportation.
TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY TO A HEALTHIER LIFE
College students need to start learning how to better manage their time. They should realize that they should wake up earlier, have a healthy breakfast, and head to campus in an efficient transportation method. And when classes finish, go back home by the same means.
The only two ways we can see people re-adapting their transportation habits are by either forced government intervention or the future forcing us to deal with the problem. Just imagine if the 8 billion people in this world have a car. There is simply not enough physical space that can suffice such demand.
There is no way we can continue enjoying the privilege to routinely take the car. If we realize this before the roads collapse, then we will start winning this war. We cannot simply wait for the government to take action or until others decide to stop using their cars.
HOW TO TURN LACK OF PARKING LOTS IN COLLEGES AROUND
Start with simple steps, by setting weekly goals. If you drive your car 14 times in a week, start that week by reducing it to 13 – taking the bus or riding a bicycle that last ride. By doing this you’ll encourage your friends and family to take the same first step. Without realizing, you will soon be influencing an entire society. The younger generations will grow up imitating such actions. If not, these kids are going to be the ones who suffer overpopulation problems – with noisy and disorganized cities. We have to teach them new ways to live to build a better world for everyone.
This picture illustrates the difference between driving a car and riding a bicycle. Besides looking at what we spend, we can look at it from another angle. Due to the lack of time, some of us fail to exercise on a daily basis. If we consider riding the bicycle to college or to our jobs instead of taking our car, I can tell you that you are no longer needing an exercise in the day. Without realizing, you are optimizing your time, since you achieved your goal of the day: that was study/work and at the same time you trained without even realizing. The time you were thinking to exercise after college or job is also no longer needed. In this free time you just earned, you can enjoy another hobby of yours. The benefits of this habit are simply marvelous.
In the picture you can compare the yearly cost of driving a car with that of riding a bicycle. Did you stop to think what you can do with the extra $11,000 right now? Probably spending on a down payment for your house, saving money for that trip you always dreamed, or simply enjoying the extra money with your loved ones. There are uncountable things you can do with this huge amount of money.
Something that universities in the USA may want to consider is using these images to raise awareness and reveal to college students the huge impact this simple habit brings to their lives. Besides from better roads, optimized space, and a healthier environment, these college students would have more money to enjoy on bars, restaurants, dinners, cinema and other million things they can do.
Rather than complaining about limited colleges parking lots, students should complain about the price of a bicycle. If this message can spread successfully throughout campus, I see no reason why people should keep using their cars in campus – the numbers are strong enough to convince them. The message should emphasize how their wellbeing improves and their budget increase.
THE GREAT WINNER FROM THIS? THE ENVIRONMENT
Our environment will be the most benefited from this new habit. The pollution and other chemicals that cars spread are very toxic. Awareness of the benefits will spread across all US universities who will capitalize upon the impact for their recruitment campaigns. This new habit will greatly benefit universities’ public image and reputation, which will lead other countries to imitate such strategy. As a result, we will leave a better world for everyone – especially to the younger generations.
By not investing in parking lots, colleges will benefit students, the environment, and their own pockets.
A Personal Justification
I have chosen to openly discuss this issue because of a main theme: “A better world for everyone”. The problems that the world is facing are there to show us that we need to change. Change in what way? In a more efficient way.
The world’s overwhelming issues demands urgent solutions. There is no room for doubts and hesitancy, we must take action as early as possible, otherwise the world will collapse, and there is no turning back. Taking the first step is crucial for any change of habits we seek to see – and that starts with each one of us.