Residential parking program positive step

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Thanks to a new permit program, San Marcos residents will hopefully feel peace of mind when parking in front of their homes without students’ cars unfairly cluttering neighborhood streets.

City councilmembers voted unanimously to approve the creation of a Residential Parking Permit Program in their Jan. 7 meeting, according to a Jan. 14 University Star article. Residents can enact the program by circulating a petition to gather signatures within their neighborhoods. Each household will be granted up to five parking permits, depending on the number of residents, and officers will be allowed to ticket vehicles lacking the proper identification, according to the article.

City councilmembers made the right move by listening to residents’ concerns and working together to create a worthwhile program designed to increase parking efficiency. It is always commendable when the city’s elected officials are in tune with their constituency and pass ordinances to benefit the community. Nonetheless, it is a shame the situation even had to reach a point where students’ inconsiderate behavior led to some residents experiencing difficulty parking in their own neighborhoods.

Historically, it is no secret there has been a divide and disconnect between some residents and students as a whole in San Marcos. If students expect to be treated fairly by residents, it only makes sense that students should, in turn, be respectful to those who live in San Marcos neighborhoods.

Pure laziness is the only excuse students can use for parking in residential neighborhoods, deserting their cars and walking to class in droves. There are multiple modes of transportation available to students—none of which have to include parking for free in neighborhoods and disadvantaging residents in the process.

Students can hitch a free ride on the Bobcat Tram, purchase a perimeter permit to park in the commuter lots or walk to class from their dorms or apartments if they live in close proximity to campus. While the Bobcat Tram is not exactly popular, it will always get students to class on time if they are responsible enough to board the bus at the appropriate time.

For perspective purposes, students should imagine what it would be like to see random cars parked outside their places of residence each day. Spaces are limited at many dorms and apartment complexes, and no student enjoys driving around trying to find a parking spot. The residents’ frustration becomes even more understandable when thinking about the situation escalating to the point where a haphazard sea of cars occupies a majority of free spaces in neighborhoods.

It is common courtesy to be mindful of residents’ personal space and ability to park near their homes, especially since many are adults and have families of their own. It is not fair for residents to feel the burden of student population growth by bearing the brunt directly in their own neighborhoods with a lack of parking spaces.

The new parking permit program is a solid step in the right direction to better accommodate those who live in neighborhoods and help bridge the historic gap between residents and students in San Marcos.