Saturday, February 21, 2004

Parking Problems Part Deux

So you have a few parking tickets. You want to fight them? Try pointed to by the fine guys at Marginal Revolution

The District of Columbia takes in more than $100 million in parking tickets each year, a major source of city revenue. The head of claims that seventy to eighty percent of those tickets should be dismissed for technical or legal reasons.

How long will it be before an enterprising C-S or I-S student develops something similar for UW-L?

Following up on this previous post I'm left with two observations from the comments.

1. I am amazed at how willing students are to accept class rank as an allocation mechanism. Is it because they will no longer be freshman by the time this policy kicks in? When student government passes policies which affect the incoming unrepresented freshman, it is yet another example of the insider/outsider theory.

2. Most students correctly realize that the parking issue is not totally controlled by the university. While we are currently undercharging for the spaces we have, increasing the price of permits will not solve the whole problem. It will eliminate the waiting lines for permits (if the price is set correctly), but it won't eliminate the problem of parking in nearby neighborhoods. To eliminate that problem the city needs to increase the price of tickets in order to increase the cost of parking illegally in local neighborhoods.

The problem is made difficult because there are basically two groups of students who have cars, (1)those that live on (or very near) campus and keep a car to go out to the mall, and (2) those students who communte from off-campus. There are many regulations that are used to distinguish between these two groups, all of which have ways around them. Two hour parking is a classic way to prevent group(1) people from occupying spots that group (2) would like. That is fine within the university, but tax payers get mad when you tell them they can't park in front of there house for more than 2 hours. So the two hour parking is usually limited to the work day, but we've all learned how to wipe off the chalk marks.

Anyhow, the problem will continue to grow as the number of students who have had there own car for some time increases. As people get used to the freedom a car provides, they are willing to pay progressively higher costs to keep it.

Keywords: Parking

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