October 29, 2013 | by The Picket
The Picket Editorial: Shepherdstown Parking

We of The Picket would like to express our hope that a suitable resolution can be found between Shepherd University’s students and town business owners and residents in relation to students parking in town. Several employees and business owners have expressed their opinion that students are often taking up valuable parking spots and have caused area residents to avoid visiting downtown shops and restaurants when classes are in session. Is this really the case?

Shepherdstown maintains a parking committee, but no representative of the university is included. The town did annex a portion of the university to receive more income from the video lottery pool, but they don’t permit the university to have a seat at the table to discuss parking. We find equitability lacking from this arrangement.

Students and customers often receive parking citations in town for parking over the time limit, but residents are permitted to park for an unlimited amount of time in 90-minute designated spots. Additionally, some businesses provide their clients and employees with parking passes to park directly in front of their businesses for an unlimited amount of time with no penalty. One of the premier reasons for the 90-minute parking spots, as indicated by the police chief, is to ensure an efficient flow of traffic. How can traffic flow efficiently if parking rules aren’t equitable?

Critical business owners were well aware of the university’s existence prior to starting or purchasing their business and should have realized parking could be a concern. Students contribute valuable money to downtown businesses and should be welcomed by business owners.

Essentially, The Picket hopes the town will recognize the right of students to exist and park. Also, The Picket asks students to be mindful of parking regulations and to be considerate of town residents. For better or worse, we are a community.

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