The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: Commuters' concerns ignored in housing plan

If you don’t live on, or at least relatively close to campus, then it’s almost a given that you have to drive to get your classes. That is, of course, if you can find a parking space remotely close to your classes.

But under USC’s new plan to lease land — two of the Carolina Coliseum parking lots — to a private developer to build more housing, the parking situation will only get worse.

The public-private partnership would bring about 919 beds to a prime location. Construction will begin in the spring and be completed in 2015.

While we’re glad that the administration is fixing one problem by adding about much-needed housing on campus, we wonder what exactly students — especially those who have to drive to get to their classes — are supposed to do in the meantime.

After all, taking out two already at-capacity lots during the middle of the spring semester doesn’t sound to us like a recipe for better parking. In fact, it sounds like a nightmare in the making.

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t already have a parking horror story to tell about USC. Having a car on campus right now is pretty much anyone’s worst dream come true, and while the university plans to build a garage with the apartments and has talked about building more nearby, we see at least a year and a half of worsened parking woes.

After all, for students who have to drive to get to class, the only long-term parking strategy students have is paying at least $300 to park your car in a reserved spot in a garage or pay $80 for the privilege to fight for a spot in a select few crowded lots — the very same ones the apartment complex will take out.

Yes, there will eventually be more parking lots and more garages built further out, but what about now? The board of trustees hasn’t approved the new housing plan quite yet, and we hope they will take the looming logistical nightmare that is parking into consideration.

Don’t get us wrong: New housing close to campus is great. We just wish there was a way to have great housing and great parking at the same time.


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