Some Ideas in Formulating a Fair School Parking Policy

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Published: 22nd December 2010
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Parking lots are not cheap to operate and maintain. On average, it costs about $500 per year to operate and maintain each space. For example, if your lot has 10 spaces, that would mean an annual maintenance cost of $5000. Not a small amount, by any measure. And in light of current economic conditions, the need to make sure unnecessary expenditures are avoided becomes more apparent.

It is a fairly well-known fact that free or highly subsidized parking is an incentive given to faculty and students. A lot of faculty and school staff members look to free parking as a very important consideration when choosing to work at a certain school.

Keeping this in mind, formulating an ideal school parking policy should be approached in a way that is fair to all.

Generally speaking, parking spaces in schools are limited. An ideal parking policy should be able to maximize the parking space available for students, faculty and staff. Many corporations are doing away with free parking for employees due to the costs of maintaining a parking lot. Implementing the same policy in schools can prove to be an ideal solution to this problem.

The difficulty may be if a parking space has been provided to a faculty member or student in the past at a cost that does not reflect the current economic situation. A good idea is to "wean" faculty, staff and students from a less than ideal parking policy. Abruptly changing policies can potentially alienate those affected, so a gradual change is the better idea.

Making parking lot subsidies fairer to the institution is a parking policy that would be easier to implement as well as relatively "painless". If before the school subsidized parking at a 70/30 % in favor of the faculty, staff member or student, the subsidy could be shifted to 50/50% or even 60/40% in favor of the institution.

Another parking policy change is to assign parking spaces on a priority basis. For example, someone who lives farther away is given first priority when considered being given a parking space.

As soon as you have settled on your new school parking policies, the next step is to implement them. The proper school parking signs should be installed in your school parking lot. These signs should be placed in a manner that is visible to all, ideally in well lit areas. Also, when choosing a proper sign, make sure they are made of a material that will give you many years of service. Aluminum is a good choice as this material is resistant to rust.

Being able to park on school grounds is a privilege, not a right. The rising costs of operating a parking lot make it necessary to formulate a parking policy that is financially sound. Nevertheless, it is still possible to come up with a policy that will benefit all.

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