Parking and transportation nightmare

David Delgado/The Daily Cougar

David Delgado/The Daily Cougar

There is a parking problem on campus. Cars follow exiting students like sharks. Tow trucks stalk through the lanes looking for vehicles to drag away. UH Parking & Transportation Services enforcers prowl through rows with tickets in hand.

Students who drive to campus already know this, but for the small group of non-commuters, welcome to the UH parking fiasco.

The game is simple: Drive to school hours before class or arrive to the parking lot on time, look for a space and walk to class late.

On the bright side, UH has encouraged students to be eco-friendly commuters by accident — this forces students to park further away from campus.

Congratulations are in order. If more spaces became available, more students would drive, and thus increase greenhouse gas emissions. Luckily, the work-in-progress parking garage near Robertson Stadium is incomplete.

Students park at Wheeler and Scott. Students park near TSU. Students park just a few blocks from I-45.

The reduced emissions would probably be greater if there weren’t so many students sharking their cars through the full parking lots. Patience is a virtue, but stalking a pedestrian until they reach their vehicle only reduces the possible fuel savings. Why not break down and park your vehicle well off campus?

Finding a parking space isn’t the only issue. UH contracts a slew of tow trucks to work with Parking & Transportation Services. You may have already doubled your fees with repeated fines brought on from the tow truck terror.

The solutions to the parking fiasco range from suggesting students show up early, to Metro buses driving through Cullen and other parts of campus — Metro buses don’t stop long enough for tow trucks to sink their teeth in. However, showing up early doesn’t help anyone but the single driver. Showing up early for a game of musical chairs still leaves people without seats.

A false premise is that the newly-arrived freshmen need a few weeks to acclimate to parking and the problems will soon ease. Last semester did not indicate this was true and this semester is unlikely to prove differently.

At least there is nightfall, when most students are gone and late night trips to the library are made easier by open spaces — another false premise.

Occasionally when night falls, the Houston Dynamo arrive at Robertson stadium and student cars become contraband. Heaven forbid students need parking space after 6 p.m.

Sure, things could be worse. Compare not having a place to park to not having water or a place to sleep. Truth be told, UH parking is a first-world problem.

Parking is not just an inconvenience, however. A broken elevator is an inconvenience; there are stairs available.

There is no avoiding driving or parking when attending a commuter school, ergo a commuter school should have adequate parking.

Parking on UH is not an inconvenience then, it is an insult.

David Haydon is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected].



  • That's one of the perks of living car free, and being a resident I suppose, but living in a city that's pretty dominated by cars otherwise, yeah, being car-free ain't so fun.

    I live car-free, but METRO is terrible even if students do get 1/2 half off. The people you meet on board are usually people you hope to not see again, it goes through rough parts of Houston to where I need to go, and it takes a bit over 2 hours for a usual 30-45 minute commute by car. Oh and taking 3 different buses usually. Plus the LED display and audio that mention/show upcoming stops don't always work so you worry if you might miss your stop if you're unfamiliar.

    I'm seeing more people carpool at least so that's a good thing. The P&T has a website where you can find carpools or vanpools and it's cheaper than just paying your own gas all the way.

  • The parking situation has always been a problem at UH but, for whatever reason, the adminsitration refuses to do anything about it except acknowledge that it has one. Now, the school is teaming up with tow-truck drivers and towing cars away just to make an extra buck off of students who the school already milks money out of.

    So what if a garage is being built? The school is adding more and more students than ever before and we are a commuter school, always have been always will be…yet the parking situation is ignored.

    And people think we're a Tiwer One institution…what a joke!

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