Exercise Your Right To Drive

Parking on campus is horrendous, and yet it is my understanding that for some reason there are opponents to the new campus parking garage. More parking should be a no-brainer!

Sure, campus “environmentalists” have told me that automobiles harm our air and water and more parking would just encourage more driving. Alternative transportation advocates have pointed out that Bozeman is pedestrian friendly, we’ve won an award for our bicycle infrastructure, and we have reliable free bus service. These facts are all true, and the well trained super-athletes among us are free to bike or walk. But that is not the issue. This is about my sacred right to drive and park close to class. Should I wake up five minutes earlier so I can walk to class from one of the underutilized remote lots? No! I deserve convenience no matter the cost.

A recent study tells us that MSU has 1.5 times as much parking per user as similar universities*. Some might use this statistic to argue that we have too much parking already and a phenomenally lazy, car-addicted population. I disagree. I see our overabundant parking as a great start! I believe that if we implemented a widespread, strategically located network of parking garages, we could guarantee every MSU student and employee their right to drive. This garage network would not only guarantee the right to drive to campus, but also the right to drive between classes! Naturally, we should also install moving sidewalks and hallways so that nobody has to suffer the plebeian indignity of self-propulsion ever again. Think big, MSU! Together we can create a better future and make our legs the vestigial organs they were always meant to be.

*http://www.montana.edu/parking/documents/BusinessPlanFY14-15.pdf (page 5, item #7)

Anthony LeBaron

PhD Candidate

College of Engineering