Survey could hold answers to campus parking issues


Editorial Board

The issue:City and campus leaders holding forums to find solutions to transportation problems on-campus.

Our view:Participating is a way for students to help solve the recurrent transportation and parking problems on-campus.

Everybody complains about parking on-campus. So much so, it’s really not funny anymore.

So, before you whine about your horrible parking experience, listen up: lightning may have struck.

A task force of leaders from campus, the city and the region aim to make your life better. But first, they need to know what you want. Right now, a survey about local and campus transportation is available on MyStateOnline, and forums with students and others are scheduled for March 28-29.

This is a solid first step for a sorely needed new look at how to get to school.

The problems are familiar. Every school year, every morning, waves of students compete for a limited number of parking spots on-campus.

It should come as no surprise. South Dakota is a driving culture. We’re used to roadtrips measured in hours, not miles. We don’t live in a big city, with wide sidewalks and subways.

Brookings is spread out. Even when the weather’s nice, those who live on-campus probably aren’t going to walk to Hy-Vee to buy groceries, and those who live near downtown certainly aren’t going to walk to campus.

We have busy lives – places to go, things to do. A car is critical to getting more done in less time.

But, it’s our guess that even we car-crazed, convenience-loving South Dakotans will jump at the chance to get a quick, easy trip to campus. And, if a “campus circulator” bus system is put into effect, it’ll make more sense to park-and-ride than fight for a parking space.

The highly-successful Safe Ride bus system shows that SDSU students will use public transportation when it’s safe, easily available and saves time and money. Just last weekend, about 500 riders took advantage of the buses on St. Patrick’s Day.

Let’s make the next step in transportation a win-win for all concerned. Speak your mind on the survey and at the forums.

Jump on-board with this idea.

It’ll make your life easier.