By Nick Amon —
Looking to avoid those long shuttle rides from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this year? Searching for that perfect parking spot before you head to class? Well, look no more because for the average student, this is a reality that doesn’t exist.
This semester, the available undergraduate passes are yellow, brown, orange and everybody’s favorite – purple. For those unaware of the differences between the permits, each color is only available for purchase if a student meets a certain qualification. Brown permits are for students who are residents at the Medical/Dental Apartments on the HSC. Orange permits are for students residing in either Unitas Hall, Miller Hall or Threkheld Hall and yellow permits are for students who live elsewhere on campus.
Did I forget one? Oh yeah, this leaves the fan favorite, purple permit. Definitely the most common permit you’ll see hanging in the rearview mirror of someone’s car, the purple permit is the cheapest of the permits at $98. Buying a purple permit means your designated parking area is the farthest away from campus (PJCS), and you have no other option but to wait on the unreliable shuttle system to haul you around.
Running late for class? Good luck trying to save some time waiting to catch one of these overly-crowded buses. And this in no way shape or form is a criticism of the shuttle drivers themselves. I mean what can you expect when there’s ongoing construction on nearly every street near campus, and an ordinary ride to Ekstrom Library turns into an action-packed obstacle course from the likes of the movie “Mad Max?”
If only U of L introduced an additional parking permit that would alleviate some of the problems that come with all of this parking hysteria. Oh wait, they once did.
Before the fall semester approached, U of L offered a green parking permit to students who had accrued more than 90 hours at the university. This permit allowed students to park on one side of the Floyd Street garage, along with some other dotted areas across campus. Now only graduate students can purchase a green pass, directly impacting many of U of L’s commuter students. It seems blatantly nonsensical to take away the option of purchasing a pass that at one time helped out a significant amount of students.
Eerily enough, this isn’t the first time U of L has revoked the option of purchasing a particular parking permit. Last fall, U of L got rid of the purple-plus parking permit. This permit allowed students to have all the parking accessibility of the regular purple pass, along with a couple added parking lots nearby.
But no worries, it’s not like U of L is a commuter school or anything. According to the most recent ‘College Guide’ edition of Louisville Magazine, 83 percent of U of L’s student body lives off campus. That means 83 percent of U of L’s student body is forced to buy a purple permit for this school year if they’d like to park anywhere near campus. A percentage like that seems pretty daunting, right? Once you take into account that U of L has roughly 22,000 students, this means that over 18,000 of those students are only given the option to buy a purple parking permit. Missing that green permit yet?
Senior exercise science major and commuter Ernie Vonallmen told The Cardinal that he thinks the university could care less about the parking situation. When asked why Sydney Barley flat out didn’t even ride the shuttle system, the Senior said, “I don’t want to use public transportation because I feel it’s unreliable and unsafe.”
The point can be argued that U of L is taking steps backwards in terms of the parking situation. Revoking the availability to purchase the green parking permit, while simultaneously failing to provide a parking alternative for students who have reached 90 or more hours, is an attitude that reeks of apathy on U of L’s part.
So as a staggering 18,000 students are given the option to only buy a purple permit this fall semester, it’s clear that U of L has abandoned the needs of the majority of its student body, and has left them to fend for themselves regarding this parking fiasco.