At any given moment, the Traditions garage is automatically off of the list. Woodward is a huge coin-toss, and Pensacola is just too far. There is a forty-car line trying to turn right into a full St. Augustine garage, and you are just trying to get to parallel parking that you are willing to pay for, for the sake of ease. Class starts at 10:10, but you are up and out of the door by 7:45 just to (maybe) get a spot in Call Street and then walk an actual two miles, uphill, in the rain, to a class that you are still somehow late to.
Parking becomes bumper cars – who can sneak to a spot first? Who can follow a person for the longest before becoming too frustrated? And for the poor person being followed, how quickly can you find your car? Or, do you even remember what floor you parked on? After so many minutes of making right turns, the question changes from, “Will I find a spot here?” to “Should I just skip class?” As stated in FSView, Florida State admits to giving out more parking pass than there are spots. (There are 9,300 parking spots currently on campus.) This is fair since not every student will be on campus all the time. At the same time, at least thirty thousand students are on campus on any given school day, so at least thirty thousand spots should be provided. Logic, right?
And if by some miracle, you find a spot, a physical relief washes over you, as if you just escaped an imminently dangerous situation. All too relatable, all too familiar. Every single day of the school week, and even on some weekends, parking and traffic on campus are enough to skip class all together. Planning effectively is out of the question; arriving on time is out of the question, remembering where you parked is out of the question; and, convenience was never an option.
Do solutions exist? In all of our student minds, I feel we share a similar mindset. When construction arises in a strange corner of Florida State’s campus, our first thought is too hopeful. “Maybe this will be a parking garage!” It never is. Instead, a revamp of a brick path or a small office complex arises, serving twenty people beautifully, but inconveniencing thousands of people constantly.
The search for a spot will likely never end. Good luck to us all.
MAYA SAXENA / Contributing Writer