The downtown struggle: Parking at CSU

Limited parking is one downside of an urban campus, but is a parking pass worth the price tag?

The West Garage, one of CSU’s on-campus parking garages. Photo by Molly Bregar

Cleveland State University prides itself on the fact that downtown Cleveland is the student body’s campus. However, a downtown campus is not always a good thing. With downtown comes limited space and therefore limited parking.

Limited parking on its own is frustrating, but not the end of the world. For CSU students, a monetary price is the price to pay for sanity. Not only is student parking extremely limited this year, but students are paying nearly $300 a semester, with no certainty that they will find spots in their designated garages or lots.

It is infuriating to pay such a hefty bill and not have a sure spot. Even more infuriating are the tiny spots that could easily lead to car damage. One day, I struggled to get into my car because the car next to me was so close I could barely open my door. Students should not have to sacrifice the conditions of their cars to park on campus.

Recent changes to the permit system may also frustrate students- which now requires license plates to be visible. This means students without front plates can no longer back in to their spots, creating more risk and inconveniencing drivers with parking tickets.

New parking enforcement policies went into place this year. Photo by Molly Bregar

Interestingly enough, despite the currently congested parking garages and lots, parking services announced they would sell more parking passes this month. Where will these extra students park? Is there another parking lot or garage being erected somewhere on campus that students don’t know about? With the current state of parking, they should sell no more passes until there are spaces to give those students.

Image of live parking app. Screenshot by Dina Usanovic

Parking services’ attempts at alleviating student frustrations have failed. They have tried giving students the ability to see real-time availability, but it is not available for all garages, such as the Main Garage or underneath the Science Building, or any open-air parking lots. It is also unclear how accurate this app is. They have also allowed students to park in overflow lots in the event of full garages, but this forces students to walk to the other side of campus for their classes. Again, at $300 a semester, this should not happen.

Author: Dina Usanovic

I am an English and Political Science major at CSU in my third year at the university. I love writing for the Cauldron and I'm so excited to bring student opinions to the forefront of university news!