McAbee Responds to Parking Problems

An open letter to commuting students:

First, let me say that I appreciate your patience as we deal with a difficult parking situation on campus this fall.

You, the commuting students, will be most affected by the loss of parking spaces as we move forward with construction, renovation and traffic modifications that are included in the university’s master plan.

This year, the Lower University Center lot (the lower-level parking area behind the UC) is closed as the University Center expand into that lot. Some spaces in the Upper UC lot also may be lost permanently.

The total number of commuter spaces lost in that area will be near 100.

In addition, commuters are losing 29 spaces in the lot on the south side of the Belk Building as construction begins on the new workforce development center.

Any time we are placed in a position where outside forces cause us to change our personal habits, we feel angry and frustrated.

And parking – that is, exceptionally convenient parking – is “an American obsession.”

If you don’t believe it, think about how often you see cars riding around the parking lot at Wal-Mart to get a space within a few feet of the front doors when there are plenty of spaces no more than 50 yards away.

I sincerely thought that we would go into this year without having any parking to replace the spaces we were losing.

But, I am pleased to report that Chancellor John Bardo and Vice Chancellor Chuck Wooten have made some quick provisions to help you.

I thank them for providing this assistance to you and for taking off of me some of the pressure of your wrath.

But since we are all walking more, we need to come prepared. Umbrellas are a must. High heels are passé. Comfortable walking shoes are in. Got a bicycle? Get a bike carrier and put it on the back of your car (be sure to lock it). We’ve installed about $5,000 worth of new bike racks around campus this year.

Finally, I pledge to you that you will not be alone in this. I intend to increase my own walking and bike riding.

There is no need for me or any other faculty or staff member to drive to meetings in areas where we know that we will find no parking spaces.

Certainly, I need the exercise since the changes in the parking situation are causing my blood pressure to rise.

Once again, I thank all of you in advance for your patience. If you have any questions about how to have parking success as a commuting student at WCU, please give me a call at 227-7301.