Parking. Essential for everyday students and staff to attend classes.
Parking spots are simple to create and replicate. It seems like a no-brainer that something like this would not only be important to UPEI, but also easy for them to implement to appease the students who pay to attend here.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. UPEI parking is a recurring issue, almost like an itch that you just cannot seem to rid yourself of, no matter the time and effort undertaken for that idea of relief.
The story of UPEI’s parking crisis has been reported on for years, without any kind of action undertaken by the UPEI administration thus far. UPEI’s The Cadre even went as far as to conduct video interviews of student commuters last year, during which every student told us that they believe the parking problems on campus are severe and in need of a remedy. In that span of time, UPEI has decided that a great way to deal with the parking problem is to build a brand-new 260-bed residence on campus, the largest residence building to date. This came with, wait for it… a small patch of extra parking behind Blanchard Hall.
If you thought that building a brand-new residence building on campus with no regard for the increased number of cars on campus brought by those living in residence would be on the minds of the UPEI administration, you would be incorrect.
The parking problem has worsened since last year, which is reflected by the number of “creative” places that people must park to get to classes on time on campus. People have gone from squeezing into tight patches of pavement and parking across the street by the Farmer’s Market to parking on the grass, curbs, walkways, and even handicapped parking.
Illegal parking on campus. Both photos by Devon Thistle.
Some go as far as to park at the Superstore and walk over to campus. While all of this is happening, parking passes are costing an arm and a leg, and those who paid the amount for one are not guaranteed parking at all.
The increase in illegal parking is best summarized by the creation of the Instagram account @upeicantpark devoted to showcasing people park illegally due to the lack of available spaces. While the account has faced its fair share of backlash online, it stands to recognize something: UPEI’s parking has reached a crisis point, and everyone is feeling the burden.
UPEI is in a deep hole, one that needs to be patched with pavement and made accesssible for parking. The increase in cars from a new residence, as well as a naturally growing student population, spells disaster for parking unless it can grow alongside the rest of the University. Sadly, this field has been neglected for many years and is now reaching a point of crisis. UPEI needed more parking yesterday, but at the very least can start creating and implementing plans today to help students and staff who must go to campus for classes, park in a legal and safe manner.
By Devon Thistle