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  • Children of Eden written by Joey Graceffa
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Resolving parking mayhem

AT ISSUE: Some less-mentioned solutions to the University’s parking problems.

It’s almost October, and I haven’t read enough articles complaining about the living joke that is the University’s parking situation. Simply put, it’s a doggone shame that on-campus residents are forced to park their cars so far in the distance that they can read the “Welcome to Michigan” sign. Commuters don’t have it easy, either. Their lots are closer than on-campus students’, but fill up quickly. Their last resort comes in the form of a distant hockey arena. The student population is increasing with every tuition-hiking year, but the pavement remains stagnant. The simple answer would be to install more lots, but where? Should the University look into building parking garages? These would all be great short-term answers, but these actions just beg for more vehicles to be brought onto the campus. Eventually there will not be enough room. Before that happens, I have some alternative solutions in the form of a hilarious top ten list to remedy the crisis at hand.

#10: Outlaw women driving cars. Even if it is a chauvinist concept, eliminating half of the drivers, no matter how you select them, will theoretically open up half of the parking spots. I never said it was a gender friendly idea.

#9: Don’t rape people. Parking lots are hotbeds for rapists to lurk at night. Somebody should corral these people and tell them that their behavior has no place at the University. Once rape is abolished, parking lots will be safer, and the common college student won’t mind the long walks, for they’ll make it home safe.

#8: Encourage car theft. As one violent hate crime should cease to exist, another should increase. This idea is twofold. Stolen cars will most likely be driven away from parking lots, thereby opening spots, but the intelligent licensed driver will be wary of parking his motorcar in the open spaces, for he knows the risk he runs of having it snatched away by someone wearing a black stocking hat.

#7: Deliver pizza using carrier pigeons. Once pizza delivery cars are antiquated, some lucky undergraduates can store their cars in and around pizza joints. Calzones and stuffed breadsticks can be delivered using unladen swallows. They could be carried by African swallows, even though African swallows are non-migratory. They can be caged and trained to wait for their tip before they flutter back to headquarters.

#6: Study black magic. I’ve heard folklore about spells and incantations that can transport people from one place to another with a flick of a wand. Somewhere in the campus library, there is a secret annex that contains several forbidden spell books and biographies of legendary warlocks. Then again, maybe that’s only the case at Hogwart’s School of Wizardry.

#5: Build faculty dorms. I know of the perfect place: build a residence hall on top of the Administration Building, and make the faculty live on-campus. That frees up several of the faculty lots, and you can make your conjectures from there.

#4: Break your legs. If you haven’t noticed, handicapped people have it made in terms of parking. They always are reserved the best parking spots. Lucky ducks.

#3: Rent out golf carts in the winter. I don’t think anybody will feel like playing 18 holes after a long day of freezing one’s butt off. Use those golf carts for transportation not only throughout the campus, but also in the city.

#2: Four-day weekends, every week. A lot of those freshmen go home every weekend. If the weekend was longer, the lots would be emptier more often. One fall break is not enough. We can do better!

#1: Conveyor belts. I’ve stood by this idea for the past year, so it deserves the number one slot. Everybody loves riding those people movers at the airport. Why not apply this fun technology to everyday life? Who says you must only enjoy the automatic horizontal movement in big city life? I urge the University to replace all sidewalks with two-way people-moving conveyor belts that would run 24 hours a day. The shuttle would no longer be needed! One could walk across campus in less than five minutes! Better yet, one could travel the entire span of the University lying down! Most of all, the University would finally have that Jetsonesque feel I for which I have been longing ever since I developed a crush on Judy Jetson.

My fellow literati, these suggestions are within the realm of our imaginations. Even a few of them would drastically heal the malignant tumor that afflicts the parking situation on this campus. My final request is that the new faculty dorm be named Sussman Hall, because after all, it was my idea. Is that so much to ask?

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