Parking wars

So there I am, looking for a parking spot just so I can hop out of my car and smack that biker/longboarder/walker — whatever — who cut in front of my car while I was driving.   The trouble is, I cannot find a spot to park. Not a single spot do I spot on my way down the side streets of College Town, nor do I see any probable parking places anywhere down the block. I’m at a loss and this hooligan gets off scot-free. With that, let’s talk about parking. Still don’t drive, so you thus do not park? Well, soon enough you will, so keep reading. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a decent parking spot in this great city of ours on any given day, let alone on a Saturday night when everyone and their cousin sees a reason to invade Burlington and take over all the parking spots with their double-parked cars. My biggest beef with parking in this city isn’t the sheer volume of vehicles on roads and in parking lots designed for traffic patterns from the early 1990s, but rather the parking here on campus. As is, UVM students pay to attend classes, live on campus, eat on campus, acquire books and supplies they need for said classes, any costs associated with joining clubs, and four dozen coffees a day don’t come cheap, either. On top of all these costs, students also have the substantial cost of paying for a parking pass just to park on campus. And these passes don’t stop with just students. Oh no — everyone from university faculty, administrators, Sodexo employees, even the kind folks who clean the bathrooms have to pay to park here. Visitor lots charge an ungodly amount of money for temporary parking, and metered spaces line the side streets of University Heights. I ask, at what point is it ridiculous to charge students, employees and visitors to park? Does Fogel pay to park here? I mean, he should, considering the ungodly amount of money he is paid to run this university into the ground or otherwise. Disobey these parking overlords and your car will be ticketed or towed, only released to you upon payment to the towing service in question at unspecified amounts, or your first-born child. Or both. Free parking occurs on campus after 3 p.m. in some lots, and 6-7 p.m. in others. But who has classes then, anyway? Giving free parking after the times when students and staff have to be present on campus is like a doctor offering a free ski trip to a recently paralyzed patient. Sure, the thought’s there, but what’s the point, really? What is there to do? As a working college student, surviving sometimes on ramen noodles and PB & J sandwiches, I find it difficult to pay for parking, so I am forced to circumvent this system by parking a mile or so away and walking to classes when I have them; a minor inconvenience, but one nonetheless. Us students pay for enough as is to attend this university, and the employees of this university do enough to keep this place running without having to pay to come to work. Students have to pay to come here and pay to come here. Employees get paid to come here only if they pay to come here. Sound ridiculous to you, too? So all of you who don’t drive yet, speak your mind like I do and maybe by the time you have to park here something can be done about it. That, or you can do what I do and park anywhere you damn well please.