Hell on Wheels

You’ve somehow managed to get your hands on a car. Maybe you saved up all your pennies or perhaps your parents decided that they were just too cool to own a station wagon any longer.

You’ve somehow managed to get your hands on a car. Maybe you saved up all your pennies or perhaps your parents decided that they were just too cool to own a station wagon any longer. Whatever the case, now you have the ultimate convenience, right?

No more waiting for the subway or the shuttle. You can just hop in your car, drive down to school, park right in front of your building and stroll into your 10:10 at 10:09 morning classes with no problem. This is simply not the case.

Street parking during the day can be a bit aggravating, according to senior Kelly Sims.

“Parking is just so frustrating because I feel that I could walk there quicker than finding a parking spot …” Sims said, “and half the time I get a ticket.” Gary Every, a junior, said that parking was one of the factors in deciding to pick off-campus housing. “I actually moved to a place where I could take mass transportation, just to save myself the half an hour it takes to find a parking spot. This is also saving me a lot of money on gas.”

Starting on the first day of classes and continuing until Friday, I showed up before the major morning class times – 8:40, 10:10 and 11:40 a.m. – and then again during random times during the day and night when there might have been night classes or on campus activities, to get the lowdown on street parking.

The results were not encouraging.

Unless you are the luckiest person on the face of the planet, you will not be able to find a parking spot close to where you need to be and within enough time to arrive on time. In the evenings things tend to decongest a little and there are a lot more spots, but in between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. it’s ugly. The worst places to look are typically those adjacent to any campus buildings. For the most part, if you can see a ‘T’ it won’t be easy.

If you think you are brave enough to attempt street parking, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, regardless of how lucky you are, you should give yourself at the very least 15-30 minutes between when you arrive on campus and when your class begins because either it will take you that long to find a spot nearby or that long to walk from a remote parking spot. Make sure you aren’t going to get a ticket where you are parking.

“Be as aware as you can of signage,” said Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services Charles Leone. “There’s some leniency in terms of parking, depending on the officer and where you’re parking, but parking in front of curb cuts for wheel chairs, handicapped spaces, fire hydrants, all the safety ones are high priority for ticketing.”

Leone also suggested that when parking in the neighborhoods around Temple you should try to be courteous.

“Try to be a good neighbor … sometimes we get calls from residents complaining about their driveway being blocked, and we realize that there’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get out of your driveway when you need to go out or to work.”

If this seems a bit overwhelming, Temple does have parking lots for students. Guaranteed access parking on campus is $72 a month for commuters and $77 a month for campus residents. However, students cannot pay monthly, but must pay the semester rate of $288 or $308 respectively. Once you pay for your four-month pass, you’ll then be assigned to one of the several parking areas where you will be guaranteed a parking spot. On the weekends, you can park in Area #6 and the Temple Towers lot without extra charge.

If you aren’t ready to be so committed to a parking lot, Temple does have cash and debit card parking lots. Cash parking costs between $3 and $9 depending on the length of time parked and involves no commitment, but there are no guarantees for parking.

Debit card parking is only $4.20 for all day, $2.10 after 3p.m. in some lots, but requires you to buy a $54 decal tag and put at least $105 on the debit card up front.

While the lots seem expensive to the average college student, with the recent gas hike you have to appreciate the fact that the time spent driving around looking for a space is also costing a lot of money and getting a ticket for a haphazard parking job won’t make it any cheaper.

For more information about parking options visit www.temple.edu/parking or call (215) 204-5301.

Parking spot finds
Ryan Barlow on 10 separate excursions,
consistently found parking on these streets:
– Oxford Street, west of Sydenham Street
– Oxford Street, east of 11th Street
– Cecil B. Moore Avenue, east of 10th Street
– Ninth Street in between Montgomery
and Diamond streets
– 11th Street, south of Oxford Street
– 10th Street, south of Cecil B. Moore Avenue
– 16th Street, between Oxford and Diamond streets
For a list of streets not recommended for parking by Parking Services visit: www.temple.edu/parking/coloroverflowmap.pdf.
Ten Most Stolen Cars in Pennsylvania according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau:
1990 Toyota Camry
1991 Honda Accord
2000 Honda Civic
1993 Dodge Caravan
1995 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
1994 Plymouth Voyager
1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass
1996 Ford Taurus
1997 Nissan Maxima
1990 Chevrolet Cavalier
Philadelphia ranks #120 on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list of cities with the most car thefts. The city with the most car thefts: Modesto, Calif.
Tips for keeping your car safe
from Charles Leone, Deputy Director of Campus Safety Services
The safest thing to do is park in a lot. Reports of incidents in the lots are very low.
– When parking on the street, try to find a well-lit area on or very close to campus. Light is a great theft deterrent and Temple Police are always on patrol.
– Make sure your doors are locked and your windows are rolled up all the way.
– Don’t leave anything valuable in sight in your car. Bring everything with you or put it out of sight in the trunk.
– Car alarms will help a little bit as burglars want the least amount of attention attracted to themselves. However, this will not guarantee your car safety.
– The Club and other devices put on the steering wheel will cause a slight delay for car thieves, but many car thieves can bypass this problem fairly quickly.
– If your car gets broken into, even if nothing is stolen or if you see a someone suspicious looking into cars, report it to Campus Safety Services at (215) 204-1234 or on campus 1-1234, so that they can adjust their patrols to help make Temple safer.

Ryan T. Barlow can be reached at rtb@temple.edu.

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