From what you could call the penthouse here at Eastern Michigan University, the 10th floor lounge in Hill Hall overlooks all of campus and miles upon miles beyond.
From here, you can see our beautiful campus from a new perspective, and this perspective really gets my creative side going.
Parking, for as long as I have been a student here at EMU, has been the number one complaint of students I’ve come in contact with. Not only is parking around the campus at EMU not functional, it is also not very aesthetically pleasing. The sprawling parking lots that encircle EMU’s campus are not enjoyable to see on an otherwise beautiful campus.
A new year has brought another rise in student population and with this, the parking problem only worsens as no strategies to fix the problem seem to be on the horizon. Student Body President Desmond Miller and Vice President Nino Monea even had parking as part of their running platform.
Miller emailed me a PDF of Student Government priorities for the coming year. The report cited that he and his team will be working to ensure that any parking lot upgrades come first in the student sector and that meters across campus again become free on the weekends.
This approach to a longstanding issue, although helpful, is a bit simplistic. I feel that a plan must be added to renovate the parking system.
The following is a general plan that I will work on with anyone to help make reality:
Green Lot 1: Has never had capacity to handle the cars of students living in both the First Year Center and the Towers. I propose that the two lots closest to Huron River Drive be turned into green space and a high capacity parking garage be constructed in the western half of the southern lot. This space should be available only to residents of North Campus and staff to the corresponding buildings.
Green Lot 2: Needs to be cleaned up and either repaved or dug up and made into green space, for as is it is an eyesore.
Oakwood Lot South, McKenny Staff Lot, McKenny Lot: Another high capacity parking garage should be built in place of Oakwood South Lot and both McKenny Lots should be converted to green space. The parking garage should be solely used for South Campus staff and commuters. No overnight parking.
These are just a few things that could be done to fix some issues with parking around the campus. The space around campus that is lined with concrete is not inviting to students and green space would better those areas.
I believe a couple more parking garages would both keep that green space at a maximum and provide much greater parking capacity. With the rise in enrollment over the past decade, EMU is hanging on the edge of capacity and we can either choose to continue to move forward via ideas such as those above or cease to grow.
For commuters having trouble, keep in mind that there is almost always parking available in the Rynearson Parking Lot with a shuttle that cycles from there through campus about every 22 minutes. The shuttle schedule can be found at emich.edu/parking/docs/Fall2014TrinitySchedule.pdf.
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