Coeur d'Alene Press Letters To The Editor
Parking: NIC Students Need More
Tucked away on page 4 of Section C of the Sunday, July 26 edition of The Press was an article titled, "Enrollment Growing at NIC." The author, NIC President Priscilla Bell, listed the good news/bad news associated with the projected 28 percent enrollment increase for fall 2009 compared to fall 2008.
However, the biggest piece of bad news was not addressed in her article: Where are all those students going to park? Parking at NIC was already a nightmare last year, especially during the winter when large sections of some lots were used as dumping areas for snow. My daughter commuted to NIC last spring, and reported that a diligent search of all on-campus parking lots would often reveal just one or perhaps two empty spots, usually next to someone who had parked very badly. Arriving at 7 a.m. seems to be the only way to be sure of finding a parking spot.
Just a few years ago, students were allowed to park at Memorial Field or in the museum parking lot, and an NIC shuttle bus took them to the campus. Will this become an option again this year? Does CityLink provide a direct (or nearly-direct) route from a large off-campus parking area, such as its Riverstone bus stop, to NIC and back? How about the former lumber mill site? Will some of that area be sufficiently cleared of rubble to be used as a parking lot?
Many NIC students drive an hour or more just to reach the campus. Car pooling isn't always a viable option. Riding a bicycle is out of the question. So I repeat: Where is this rapidly-increasing student body going to park? What arrangements have been made to accommodate the huge demand that will exist for parking spaces less than two weeks from now?
Anyone? I have only been to NIC during the school day a couple times recently, and as a 'guest' (non-student) had no problem finding parking in the front row spots marked 'Guests only.' How about you folks who go there or know people who do though? Is this an accurate assessment of the NIC parking situation?