The Daily Gamecock

Safety, parking both needed on Assembly Street

Eliminating meters to help pedestrians will cut options for student commuters

Students usually overlook road work on campus, as it has become a common occurrence. However, the work on Assembly Street will affect those who study in that area.

The city has started removing all parking meters on this main road, which provide spots for students and city dwellers alike, to widen the street, add medians and make crossing safer for pedestrians. While safety should certainly be addressed, the city, in solving one problem, is heightening the issue of limited parking at USC.

After their first year, students aren’t guaranteed on-campus housing and many venture off to private student-centered apartment complexes. Most of these complexes aren’t within walking distance, and they typically provide shuttle buses to and from campus.

However, not all of them provide this service, which only runs for limited hours and at certain times. In a city with inadequate public transportation, this forces many students to drive to campus themselves. Unfortunately, finding on-campus parking is a common frustration among students and faculty.

USC has several parking garages, but the steep cost of a spot per semester is unaffordable for many, and searching for parking in the daily lots is like trying to win the Hunger Games. The only option left lies in the hundreds of parking meters in and around the campus.

Finding an open meter is still a task, but it provides more options and allow students to park closer to classrooms. Assembly Street is currently home to the Carolina Coliseum, the Public Health Research Center, the School of Law, the School of Music and many other university academic buildings, and the new Darla Moore School of Business building is under construction there. Removing parking meters would affect all of these campus establishments by deterring people from going there.

Students will have to find parking farther from their destination and possibly at a much greater expense. It will also add to competition for parking throughout campus, even affecting students who never find themselves on the west side of campus.
Instead of removing parking, the city should look a couple of blocks over to Sumter and Barnwell streets. There, yield-to-pedestrian signs are in the crosswalks with heavy foot traffic, and accidents there are minimal.

This may not seem as practical on such a main road, but something in that direction such as a crosswalk light would have the same effect. Road safety is important, especially on a college campus in the heart of a city. But there must be other ways for us to attain it that don’t also limit options for students to park on campus.


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions