Writer: Larissa Werbiuk
Picture this – you wake up at 7 am, you’re lying in bed mentally abusing your alarm and dreading your 9 am lecture. Then suddenly, you remember it’s going to take at least ten minutes to find a car park at the VU Footscray Park campus. Doing the math, you know it will take at least thirty minutes to get ready, around forty minutes driving to VU battling peak hour traffic – to then spend at least ten minutes creating enemies in the car park, stealing a car space and of course ten minutes walking to class and grabbing an essential, coffee! And guess what, you already know it’s going to be a tough morning.
VU has two major car parks, one situated on Ballarat Road and the other on Fisher Parade, and yet it’s still not enough for the amount of students. Unless you have a class after 3 pm, you will be continuously circling the car park for a space. St. Albans campus is newer than Footscray’s and upon being built, they obviously latched onto the fact that they need to cater to the amount of student drivers. The light bulb has finally switched on at Footscray that they need a resolution to their parking issues. But some may say a little too late… others may even say construction has finally started at the worst possible time – the start of semester one, when students are grappling with new environments and timetables. I like to think I’m quite cluey being at university, and if I recall correctly, VU had at least four months to get started on this project from the end of 2014 semester two to the start of semester one this year.
Another issue with VU Footscray Park campus is the cost of parking. Students already struggle with everyday costs and usually need casual jobs to make ends meet. VU parking fees of $2 for two hours and $5 a day can build up across the week. An average three day uni week will be $15.
$2 for two hours doesn’t help as most classes go for two hours, so to not risk getting a parking ticket of $60-$70 dollars, students are forced to spend $5 or further top up online. And how many times have we let time run away from us due to the demands of lecturers and workload distractions? At the end of the day, students come to university to learn, not worry about parking offences.
A solution could be $1 an hour charge capped at $5 that would then last for the day. That way, students who have a two hour class can pay $3 for 3 hours, which gives them enough time to complete their class, discuss any issues with their lecturers/classmates or even stay back a bit to complete some work before casually making there way to their car, without fear of a ticket or having to run out of class ten minutes early. So lets hope VU considers students’ views and needs and we get parking that is both affordable and can meet full parking demands.