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To The Editor

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 05 - September 26, 1996

This letter addresses the most commonly debated issue on this campus-PARKING. In the Roanoke Times, dated Aug. 27, 1996, was an insert entitled "Welcome Students." In it were some articles regarding parking at Virginia Tech and other universities. An article in this insert entitled "Parking takes on a rich new meaning" shows where parking is permitted, and how much Parking Services collected between July 1, 1994 and June 30, 1995 for parking permits, late fees, parking fines, and from parking meters. The amount was very large-$1,502,000.00 to be exact.

The article also showed parking meters along the edge of the commuter lot on Perry Street. (This means the front row closest to Perry Street.) These meters were installed because of student complaints. I have been told that they are there to stay. I will go along with this but I feel that the faculty and staff complaints should be heard and responses given to them regarding their complaints also.

Therefore my recommendation would be for Parking Services to hire parking officers for each parking lot on the Virginia Tech Campus. These officers should have buildings like parking attendants in public parking lots in Roanoke, should enforce parking (illegal parking, time violation of meters, etc.) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Now the question will be-how are these parking officers to be paid? My question would then be-where does all of the $1,502,000.00 (which will be higher this year due to the increased enrollment) go? I have been told it goes to improve and maintain the parking lots. How much does it cost for parking-lot maintenance? I am quite confident that it does not cost $1,502,000.00 each year now that the lots have been completed.

Another solution, (which would discriminate against any student, faculty, or staff member who lives in an area serviced by the Blacksburg Transit) would be to follow the University of North Carolina's example by requiring anyone who lives in an area service by the Blacksburg Transit to ride the Blacksburg Transit. I live in Giles County and have no choice but to drive to work. and I admit that there are times I need to have my vehicle on campus, but I also have to admit that there are more times that I wish there was a bus from Giles County to Virginia Tech.

Does anyone else feel this way? Does anyone else have suggestions? If so, would the Parking Committee be willing to look into these suggestions?

Debbie Atkins, engineering fundamentals