Parking should be free on weekends

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – CU Denver


It’s ironic that the students and faculty who go above and beyond to contribute to their university on the weekends still have to pay above and beyond what should be necessary for parking. Instead, these hard-working students and faculty should receive free parking on weekends.

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – CU Denver

The rising prices of daily parking creates a growing frustration for students. This is especially true when it comes to the weekend and students are still forced to pay for parking. For many CU Denver students and faculty, being on campus is mandatory. Students in club sports teams have to meet and practice on the weekend, extracurricular organizations are often meeting on weekends for events, and students and faculty come to campus to complete additional work.

Free parking on campus should not be a pipe dream. Charged parking on the weekends is a deterrent for students which results in a disconnected student body. Several universities have implemented free parking on the weekend for their students, and it provides far more opportunities for students to focus on their work.

For those who think that CU Denver doesn’t have the technology to implement such a concept, think again. An easy way to monitor which cars receive free parking would be to link students’ license plate numbers with their student IDs. Most garages on campus have the ability to enter a license plate number into a machine and have parking paid for the day. The technology to identify license plates for parking purposes has already been implemented. The garages just need to add the step that links the license plate number with a student portal. Once the car has been identified as a student’s vehicle, the fee should be waived.

Free parking on the weekends is not a concept only for the wealthy Ivy Leagues, either. CSU has a program which allows free parking for students on Saturday and Sunday. Their technology follows CU Denver’s almost to a T, but the garages first take a picture of the license plate, run it through the system, and then waive the fee.

Students who are on campus four days a week have to pay an average of 20 to 30 dollars a week, regardless of the time they actually spend on campus. One graduating student, Kensye Wood, is only taking one course on campus for her last semester. “I already have to pay $6.50 a day to be here for an hour and 15 minutes,” Wood said. “I’m not going to spend even more money to be here on the weekends. I would rather go somewhere else that’s free, or at least doesn’t charge as much.”

If CU Denver waived the charge for parking on the weekends, students would be more inclined to interact on campus outside of class. A common complaint from students is that CU Denver doesn’t have a community feeling. Being a commuter campus makes it challenging for students to meet one another, but if CU Denver were to implement free parking on the weekend, students would have a better chance at creating substantial relationships while saving money.

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