Dinkytown’s vanishing parking spots

DBy Will Strand Dear City Fathers:

Why are you eliminating parking spaces near the University?

As a resident of Dinkytown who owns a car, I know how difficult it can be to find a parking place near the University. Sometimes I’ve toured the Dinkytown area for 10 or 15 minutes, waiting for some car to abandon a precious parking space.

And yet, over the last few weeks you have erected a variety of “no parking” signs in the Dinkytown area, forbidding the many students and residents who live in the area to park on the sides of 42 of the 56 blocks that encompass the area. (I’ve counted them.)

Why?

For safety? The wide streets of the Dinkytown area have had cars going both ways and parking on both sides for years. And yet, there are now parking limits on many of Dinkytown’s streets from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every school day.

To raise money for the city? Meters have been added to only one block, close to the shopping area. This is a small recognition of the already inadequate parking for the business area, which only has two, often crowded, parking lots.

Are you trying to raise money for the University by forcing more cars to use the limited and more distant University parking? That would seem the most immoral of possible purposes after the University already decided to raise tuition significantly for the next two years.

The City Fathers and University should both anticipate the frustration and anger of the many students when they return in the fall and discover that almost all of the empty parking places they used to use have needlessly and inexplicably been placed off limits!

Will Strand is a resident of the Dinkytown area.

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