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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Move it or Lose it


My last semester as a UB undergrad is finally here. Throughout the almost-four years of which I have been here, I have seen a lot of changes in the campus and the people. Unfortunately, one of the things I have not seen changed is the annual catastrophe created in the parking lots during the winter months.

It wasn't even two full weeks into the semester that I was reminded of the disaster zones that are created in our parking lots when there is even a hint of wintry precipitation.

As a senior commuter, I feel like I have mastered the parking system at UB. I can proudly say that I am able to show up to school 10 minutes before my class starts and make it to class on time. On top of that, I am able to avoid having to park practically on Maple Rd., or having to psychotically stalk the people walking through the lots, while they are trying to get to their car.

It's a talent that is developed over time. It's about knowing the time ratio of when classes end and how long it takes students to get to their cars, knowing the less crowded parking lots and not being afraid to park in the faculty lot anytime within a half hour before the allowable 3:00 p.m. access time.

All of my parking talents become useless when the snow falls. The drivers of the North Campus seem to become the most incompetent people in the Northeast during these times.

I don't entirely blame the winter parking problems on the drivers. I could eat breakfast off the streets of Clarence and Amherst on my way in because they are so clean, compared to the condition of the campus parking lots when I arrive.

If it is snowing, there should be small snow plows in the lots throughout the entire day. Since Parking and Transportation Services seem to feel that snowfall is not a big problem in Western, New York, I suggest they distribute along with the parking tags, personal snow plows that can be attached to vehicles, in case a commuter ever feels the urge to clear their own path. For the moped and bike riders, an attachable beach shovel would suffice. We can all have plows.

At the very least, give the students serving time from the Student Judiciary some shovels and snow boots.

Remember, this is the University of Buffalo, a university in an area that has the reputation of getting some snow. Not only should the University's snow removal be the best in the Universe, but the drivers should at least attempt basic winter driving skills. I don't think I am being presumptuous in thinking they have all seen snow before becoming a commuter at UB.

The snow plow system can not be blamed for drivers losing any kind of common sense or basic ethics. I especially hate it when drivers decide to invent parking spots. The number of parallel parking spaces along the sidewalks increases at least two or three additional parking spaces when snow covers the usual parking lines. Also, spaces on the sides of the rows magically appear too, and therefore only allow one car thru at a time.

To all of the Thomas Edisons out there...you are not fooling anyone. Additionally, drivers completely lose any clue to the correct width of a parking space. Sometimes I think I am approaching a spot, only to find a space that is large enough for a golf cart, but not large enough to leave any possible hope for poor (and now late) me.

I should consider driving a golf cart to school...a golf cart with a plow.

There is also the lovely creation of the singled row of middle spaces instead of the usual double row. The winter drivers' new parking lot diagrams of horrible spacing and single middle row eliminate a mass amount of potential parking spaces on a campus that already has tight parking as is.

The solution to the winter parking problems is simple; Drivers...THINK! The early arrivers need to especially set the example for the rest. All drivers need to keep the basics in mind and need to remember the following standards:

1. If your car is blocking the possibility for two cars to safely pass in opposing directions through the driving sections of the lot, then you should not park your car there. And if you do, it is completely acceptable for other cars to hit your front and tail lights completely off as well as knock your side mirror into the snow. I would even encourage fellow drivers to hit your car.

2. The light poles in the middle of the lots are placed in the center of the rows. This means that there should be a row on one side of the poles and another row behind the poles. Since when has anyone seen light poles that are meant to be located in the mid-section of a car? Since when have there only been single spaced rows in the mid sections of the lots?

3. Try to attempt a decent estimation to the proper spacing of the parking spots. If you can not, at the very least, reach out and touch the adjacent car with the bottom of your foot, while your back is on your car, then you are spaced too far away. If you are over 5'7', then the full extension of your arm should be used for measurement. Violators of improper car spacing should be forced to do naked snow angels in the wasted space that was created by their carelessness.

4. Lastly (not to sound like your grandma), give yourself extra time to park safely. Even as a proud, last minute parker, I make sure to leave my house earlier than usual on wintry days, so I do not have to fly around the icy lots as if I were in a demolition derby. Too many times I have encountered cars coming within centimeters of hitting me, after they donut around a corner for the next possible open space.

The parking situation is in our hands. By being responsible and setting examples for others, a simple snow fall at this Buffalo University does not need to ruin the sanity of the commuters.




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