Opinion

Loyola falls short for on-campus parking

Photo courtesy of John Lewis: Cars parked along Lakewood Street, one of roads offering parking near Loyola's Lakeshore campus

Commuting into the city for class every day is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Between unknown construction delays and seemingly year-round weather obstacles, arriving to class on time can be difficult. Adding to that difficulty is the shortage of available parking spaces on and around Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus (LSC).

Searching for a parking spot can add a significant amount of time to the commute of a student. At Loyola, 56.4 percent of the student body lives off campus or commutes every day, according to the Common Data Set for 2013 to 2014. While a fair amount of those students live within walking distance of LSC, those students who drive are subject to steep fees and a lack of accommodations.

Loyola does provide vehicle permits for commuter students to access three lots and garages located around campus. Fees are $232 for a single semester permit or $458 for an annual permit. To obtain a permit, a student must apply online for their desired permit type. Up to three vehicles can be registered to a single permit, and the student won’t be billed until he or she picks it up.

Obtaining a permit does not, however, guarantee that a student will receive a spot in one of the garages or lots on campus. All parking is on a first come, first serve basis, and the main parking structure fills fairly early in the day.

Photo courtesy of luc.edu The main parking structure on Loyola's Lakeshore campus
Photo courtesy of luc.edu
The main parking structure on Loyola’s Lakeshore campus

In addition, this permit does not allow students to park overnight. For a student to pay nearly $500 a year for a pass that doesn’t promise a place to leave his or her car makes the entire process seem like a bit of a scam.

If a student does not want to front the fee for a permit, options are limited to street parking around Rogers Park. Streets such as Winthrop and Kenmore offer free street parking all day and sometimes at night, and are a short walk to campus. However, like the garages, these spaces are few and far between and tend to fill by late morning.

The recent construction and demolition of the north end of Kenmore Avenue, near Sheridan Road, has taken away a city block of available free parking options. This space has since been reopened as a walkway and bike path for students and residents of Rogers Park and Edgewater.

Other streets available for free parking, farther away from campus, are located three blocks west of Sheridan Road at North Newgard Avenue.

During busy times of the year, such as move-out week, streets near the dorms are packed with parked vehicles. It can take more than an hour to find a spot, and searching can lead you a mile away from campus.

Overnight parking options are limited to available street parking and The Morgan at Loyola Station, located at 1210 W. Arthur Ave. The Morgan offers parking starting at $5 for 10 hours.

Commuting can be difficult, but it can be made easier by knowing that parking options are available around campus.

In a city, traveling any length of distance can be stressful, and simplifying the parking system on campus could ease the difficulty that commuter students face on a daily basis. Maybe they wouldn’t have to get up so early to search hours for a spot, or walk a ridiculous distance in sub-zero temperatures after a long day of class. As an added perk to making parking more accessible, families and friends of on-campus students could enjoy an easier visit. Overall, a better parking system lends a helping hand

Paige Friddle is a contributing columnist. You can contact her at pfriddle@luc.edu

Paige Friddle a contributing columnist
Paige Friddle a contributing columnist
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