Staff Editorial

Having a car on the Lawrence campus has always been somewhat of a catch-22. While it’s nice to have ready transportation, parking is always at a premium and many students try to avoid driving even if they have a car so as not to lose their precious spot in the lot. Still others are discouraged from bringing a car to campus at all because of the difficult parking situation.
The Campus Center Planning Committee is attempting to resolve some parking issues by asking students for input about their driving habits. A private company has been hired to evaluate the results and, presumably, to respond adequately to parking needs at the new campus center. While more parking will certainly be appreciated by many, it remains in Lawrence’s best interest to keep on-campus parking minimal.
First, Lawrence is not a commuter campus. It has a strong sense of community, due in large part to the requirement that all students live on campus for four years. Everything is within easy walking distance, including a bus service that connects Lawrence to the larger Fox Valley area.
These factors currently encourage students to remain on campus or close to campus for events, parties and everyday activities. This is one of the best features of Lawrence. Increasing parking significantly may encourage more students to bring cars and leave campus more frequently, disturbing the nature of life on this campus.
In addition, Lawrence has a wonderful amount of green space compared to many other college campuses. As it stands, parking lots do not mar the campus landscape, and any new parking built with the campus center should maintain this precedent. Finally, Lawrentians can also save both gas money and the environment by resisting the urge to have a car on campus.
Although additional parking with the campus center will be convenient for many, those responding to surveys on driving habits and those planning the layout of the new parking spaces should remember what makes Lawrence a nice place to be. While it may seem like an easy solution at first, a large increase in student parking is not the most important feature of the much-anticipated campus center.