by VADA ABRAHAMSON
Drake University implemented a new parking system this year, including restrictions on where drivers can park and a price increase. Students and faculty have differing opinions on the new system.
“They upped the price by $125 and restricted the [number of] zones where we can park,” sophomore Olena Andrushko said. “I didn’t think it was worth it to pay for such a small zone.”
Many Drake students have withheld from purchasing parking passes and resorted to street parking due to the increase in price.
Students are encouraged by the university not to bring cars to campus. For many students, this can cause conflicts with work, internships and other activities.
“I didn’t want to keep asking people for rides, I wanted to feel more independent and be able to get a job,” Andrushko said. “I feel like this new parking policy has restricted students’ abilities to do that.”
The university does provide each student with free Dart Bus rides with their school ID. They also give students the option to rent a car through WeCar and discounted rates for BCycle rides. This is all done in an effort to increase the campus’s sustainability.
Students who do not have passes park their cars in non-guaranteed street parking locations. Some students with passes also resort to street parking since lots have been oversold and spots are not always available.
“Because I had to park on the street, someone hit my car and it’s dented very badly,” Andrushko said. “I feel like if it was in a Drake lot maybe public safety could step in and help me somehow.”
Many students that live on campus rely on rides from off campus friends or friends with parking passes to give them rides. With the amount of students that did not purchase passes, free spots go fast and many students park far away from campus.
The university has specific zones, some of which are residential and some that are commuter. Professors with parking passes are restricted to the commuter lots while on-campus students are restricted to the residential lots.
“Because of the new policy, I bought a pass for the first time,” Professor Chris Snider said, who now parks in the Olmsted lot. “In the past I’ve parked on the street and occasionally parked in the lot and just risked that I would not get into any trouble.”
The Olmsted lot is a yellow zone commuter lot. It is also the closest lot to Meredith Hall, where Snider teaches, which is why he chose that lot even though it was the most expensive lot to park in. Olmsted spots run at $250 along with red and green zones, while other commuter lots cost $125.
“To me, it seems like students are upset about a lack of parking spots,” Snider said. “In Des Moines, you really need to drive places to do stuff, so I see the frustration students are going through.”
Drake offers temporary passes, weekly residential, daily residential and daily commuter passes at lower prices for students who may need to be on campus more than planned or cannot walk during a particularly stormy day.