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Re: carfree college campuses

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    University of Florida in Gainesville has several roads in the campus area that are carfree during the day--entry only by service vehicles, mass transit, and
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 9, 2004
      University of Florida in Gainesville has several roads in the campus area that are carfree
      during the day--entry only by service vehicles, mass transit, and disabled parking permits.
      Unfortunately, according to the signs at the entry gates, they're open only from 0800 to
      1600 on weekdays--so much for carfree, that's 24% of the week and completely snubs out
      the times when students are out in force enjoying the social scene--I can not tell you the
      last time I went to the bowling alley in daylight.

      Let's not forget that Florida seems to hand out disabled parking permits like candy, and
      are held almost immune to vehicle towing or driver's license suspension for violations,
      since they're disabled and are apparently need their car more than everyone else. I hate to
      sound insensitive here, but these disabled individuals are using their vehicles as
      oversized wheelchairs. And unlike a wheelchair, which is small enough to fit down a hall
      and into a room, these oversized wheelchairs must be left outside, but they insist on their
      "right" to park it as close to the building as possible. God Forbid that they use real
      wheelchairs, which would probably destroy their false sense of dignity they get by at least
      using the same oversized wheelchair that able-bodied individuals feel they must use too.

      FSU is by no means carfree. They actually loosen parking regulations after 1630 to allow
      student permits anywhere on campus--and they outright ignore parking violations in fire
      access areas or sidewalks. Some people reason this by saying that it's not safe (especially
      for women) to walk around the campus in the dark. Last I checked, being in a vehicle does
      not make you immune to being victimized. This seems to be a self-creating problem:
      people don't consider the outdoors safe at night because noone's outside--everyone is in
      a vehicle. The FSU campus is located right next to a high-crime area of the city and is
      dotted with "blue light" emergency phones, common in airport parking lots--this does not
      make it any better. There are some female students who practically won't get out of a
      vehicle in the dark unless they can sprint to the nearest building entrance.

      As the university expands, I notice a disturbing trend to accompany every building with a
      ton of parking--and bike parking areas, while not being ripped up, are far between and
      few on newer buildings. A residence hall built in the 1950s has what looks like a few
      hundred bike spaces right in front of it, while the newest residence complex (2003) has
      something like 60 bike spaces for the whole complex. While they claimed that this new
      residence complex would not have parking, it's very close to a free-for-students 800-
      space, 24-hour parking garage.

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Carfree City, USA" <carfreecity@y...> wrote:
      > Does anyone know of any college campuses in the U.S. that are carfree or
      > have a significant portion of the campus (125 acres or more) that is? They
      > would allow service vehicles and public transportation but no private cars.
      > thanks in advance
      > David Ceaser
      > david@c...
      > www.carfreecity.us
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