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Parking struggles typify life at a large University

Welcome back readers to the BG News newest section!

Last month we launched In Focus, a once-monthly section that covers a single topic from multiple perspectives.

And this month, the issue is near and dear to almost every person on campus: parking and public transportation, the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes – or more – of every campus-goer’s day.

There is no experience that makes the city of Bowling Green seem bigger than scouring the approximately 11,000 spaces across campus for a place to park.

Despite there being so many spaces, somehow it is still possible that not a single open space is within a ten minute walk to my first classes. This is why I choose to park in city lots that are utilized much less.

It is all because of time. I want to stay up late with my friends or have a conversation online and not spend an extra 20 minutes every morning and evening finding and walking to a parking space.

Time is just one facet of college life surrounding the hunt for spaces. A lack of expendable cash is another. Getting hit with a $25 ticket because I was a few minutes late getting back to my car is a direct hit on my rest and relaxation funds. So I appeal, and get the fine reduced or removed.

Many of my rest and relaxation funds have found their way to the downtown bars since becoming 21, but after a night of fun I am faced with a ten minute walk to my friends’ place. Even though there is now a shuttle stop at my complex, it does not go downtown and it does not operate late at night. So I sleep on his painful futon.

Since moving off campus two years ago, I have dealt with a parking headache nearly every weekday, which is why I plan to use the shuttle service more often. Especially with the increase in the price of gas following Hurricane Katrina, it makes a lot more sense.

Even though it may seem the city is larger when I am roaming in a lot of several hundred vehicles, when I sit and think of all the people working to make my parking experiences better-from the sweaty construction workers putting the final touches on a new parking lot, to the smiling, cheerful shuttle operator giving me a ride to class-I realize once again that I am still in the city that yields a friend on every block.

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