Staff Editorial: Parking Fees Shortchange Eagle Landing Residents

Eagle Landing residents recently received an e-mail from the Offices of Public Safety/Parking Services and Residence Life informing them that as of Oct. 1, the University will begin enforcing its stringent parking restrictions in Eagle Village.

While the students have known about the restrictions since move in, there is significant animosity about the high price for a parking space in the Eagle Village parking garage, which is $550 an academic year.

One sophomore, Anissa Felix, said, “I just assume that for $550, I’d get a better deal out of it.”

Junior Cassie Morgan, said, “We’re paying how-much to live here, and that much more for parking. You kind of assume that if you’re already paying that much money, you’re going to get a decent parking spot.”

Though there are five levels in the parking garage, student parking is restricted to the top three levels, leaving an abundance of open parking spaces elsewhere.

Eventually, these spaces are supposed to be used for the shopping center, but new building leases have stalled, with several stores vacant.

For those who alternatively chose to purchase a regular parking pass, they must park over in the campus parking deck, across Route 1.

Accessibility to the campus parking deck is also a concern. Presently, you have to walk all the way across the bridge, down the temporary walkway, and then back down either Route 1 or through Jepson.

The recent rise of crime in the area makes this a safety hazard.

When asked about the rationale for the price, Susan Knick, the assistant vice president for public safety, said, “For an additional $350 a year, students residing at Eagle Landing are offered guaranteed parking co-located with their residence hall, which is a fully indoor and secured location.”

Part of the benefit to the Eagle Landing parking deck is that they won’t have to relocate their vehicles after inclimate weather, and  residents will get a parking space right next to their rooms.

“For those opting to purchase the EL deck parking, the difference between the UMW lot parking ($200) and EL deck parking is only an additional $39 a month for this upgraded service.”

However, for $550, Eagle Landing residents can only park on the top three levels of the Eagle Village parking deck, and in the Battlefield parking lot. Despite paying over-and-above $200 for a general parking pass, they are still barred from parking on campus.

We’re just not buying the argument that the Eagle Village parking deck package is a bonus that runs only $39 a month on top of the normal $200 decal.

It makes no sense to pay more for fewer options. Yes, we understand paying more for a parking area with all these benefits, but if you pay $550, you should be allowed to park anywhere on campus.

In response to this point of view, Knick stated, “We must look after everyone’s parking needs and, to the greatest extent possible, strike a balance and advocate on all students’ behalf.”

Knick went on to say, “If students with parking privileges at Eagle Landing were allowed unlimited access to campus lots, the residential students using those lots would be displaced and have nowhere to park—they cannot access the Eagle Landing deck nor use commuter student spaces.”

Students must pay the fee at one time, not in monthly installments. Instead of presenting an Eagle Village Parking Deck Pass as a perk that only costs a little more, the University should present it as a different option entirely. The University’s misleading façade is directly contributing to the animosity amid Eagle Landing residents with parking passes.

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9 Comments

  1. Mary-Kathryn says:

    As a graduate of UMW let me give you this former commuter’s view.How about not having a parking space at all because all the spaces have been taken up by those who live in the neighborhood, faculty who ignore their own privileged parking in favor of spots right in front of campus buildings and dorm students and campus workers who just cant be bothered with finding their own lots. Complaining was USELESS because as I was told “The Fredricksburg police can give tickets too.”

    There were actually commuters I knew who missed classes because they could not find a parking spot. Me? I had to park in the parking garage…not the top level thats out in the open because that had been given away to visitors and faculty but on the lower levels where there was never any security and where a woman had been raped. It seemed like every semester the admiinistration pushed commuters farther and farther to the edges, ignoring our safety.

    I walked in rain, the freezing cold, and the heat from the garage to Combs Hall on a reguar basis. That means for almost every single class. I did it during the day as well at night.

    So Eagle Landing kids have their own parking garage…excuse me three levels of a five level garage.. built just for them, they dont have to fght for a space with the whole campus, its secure, and they dont have to move their cars in bad weather… am I suppose to feel sorry for you?

  2. Justus Wilkins says:

    Am I supposed to feel sorry that you had to walk to class every day? Yes, yes I do. How horrible to have to WALK to get somewhere. This article was intended for CURRENT students, by the way.

  3. Mary-Kathryn says:

    Dear Justus,

    My experieince is no less valid simply because I graduated this past May. My ability to walk to and from class was never the issue. The safety and the lack of decent parking for commuters was the issue.I simply chose to voice that here with my comment

    But back to the article at hand…An editorial is just that…an editorial. It is one opinion and the comments section invites all who read it to voice how they feel whether they agree or disagree.

    If the article is only for current UMW students then it should not be put up on the internet nor should the comments section be available to the public as a whole. Perhaps The Bullet will want to consider making their on-line version available only to students have can log on with their passwords. That way all the articles will be “safe” and they can rest assured that there will be no conversation from the larger community of which UMW is a part of. No conversation that agrees or disagrees with their point of view…no conversation at all.

  4. Megan says:

    Ooh, all the way from the deck to Combs eh? What if I was an on campus resident with a language major living in Arrington? Alvey? Pretty much the same distance. Boo hoo. I can’t drive to the building either, except you can at least put your car wherever there’s an open non-facstaff spot while I have to park mine at the battlegrounds (and you think the deck is sketchy?!). How about a science major living in the Willaims St. UMW apartments? Even farther of a walk. Still can’t drive my car there either. How sad that you had to walk to class. So did I. If you wanted to stay put and have class come to you, you should’ve taken online classes. And you’re coming late to class all the time? Guess you should leave earlier, hmm? Seriously, if you’re so rushed that you can’t take the time to walk from the deck to your class, wherever it may be, perhaps you should leave the house 10 minutes earlier. There’s no law against being early to class, after all.

  5. Andrew says:

    —When asked about the rationale for the price, Susan Knick, the assistant vice president for public safety, said, “For an additional $350 a year, students residing at Eagle Landing are offered guaranteed parking co-located with their residence hall, which is a fully indoor and secured location.”

    When Susan Knick puts it that way it makes me think those paying for the spots at the Eagle Village are paying a premium for their safety.

    Maybe safety should be more secure THROUGHOUT the campus? Where can I buy that decal?

    —“For those opting to purchase the EL deck parking, the difference between the UMW lot parking ($200) and EL deck parking is only an additional $39 a month for this upgraded service.”

    $39 a month…Really? How about $1.30 per day… No wait! Less than 6 cents per hour!! Susan, you don’t have to break it down for us and you don’t have to sell this “upgraded service” to us via interview. Why don’t you just throw in 3 free months of HBO.

    But more importantly!… I can honestly say that during my years here at UMW, for the first time I am actually fearing for my safety around this campus. What doesn’t make me feel any safer in places like Eagle Village is when I visit and see the security guards sitting on the curb. Are you on your break? How about somebody fix this…Administration?

  6. Justus says:

    UMW has done little to make students feel safer, because they recognize fear as an oppurtunity to “sell safety”

  7. Val says:

    And in the face of major budget cutbacks they want to sell everything they can! So why not sell safety!

  8. Robbie says:

    This article is biased more than a free donut day but only for people aged 55. There is no story or article about the commuter population. Its always steal the commuter parking spots for the resident life, steal them away for the teachers, steal them away so an incoming football team has a place to park(WE DONT HAVE ONE!!!). i havent even seen an article about the commuter students parking space being taken away (1/4th of it) and yet when mary washington increases tuition the bullet has dozen of articles reviews and what not. Why doesnt mary washington take a giant sign that says “commuters not welcome” everywhere and get it done already.

  9. Mary-Kathryn says:

    The issue, as Ive said before here and I’ll say one more time– is not whether or not I have the ability to walk–that was one sentence out of my comment yet there are those here who latched onto it. I assume for lack of anything better to add to the conversation. Which is a shame because commuter safety and the ability to park at the university, in order to get to classes on time, is a very real issue.

    The issue with walking from one end of campus to the other was concerned with safety and the frustration over so many commuter parking spaces being taken by those who should not be parking in those spaces in the first place.

    But lucky for me I am no longer forced to deal daily with such inadequate facilities Hopefully this conversation can be steered in a direction that will give the administration a wake–up call before someone else is harmed in the garage or elsewhere on campus due to the debacle that is the parking situation.

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