On Friday I bought my employee parking decal. Back in 1994 I think I paid $26 for my decal. Now, the price is $201 (includes tax). That is certainly some impressive inflation, especially considering that I get now exactly what I was getting then.
Naturally, I do wonder why the decal is so costly. Actually, I wonder why I don’t just get free parking as part of my job.
Now, I do understand that the traffic and parking folks need to maintain and patrol the lots. Of course, as my truck rumbles over potholes and I drive around and around lo0king at faculty spots occupied by students’ cars, I do wonder a bit more. But, when I see the nice traffic services’ cars (and golf carts) I get some idea of where the money goes. When I bought my decal, I also noticed how nice the building is compared to my own office and classroom buildings. But, “if you bring in the bucks, you get the nice stuff.” All I do is teach and so on, so I can hardly expect to be considered a “buck bringer.” In fact, some folks might think that universities would be better off without faculty or students. Just imagine a golden age of universities in which only administrators occupied the campuses, untroubled by students and faculty.
To be fair, the traffic folks have been much more aggressive about enforcing the parking rules. I have seen cars towed and ticketed and the person in charge now is said to be very serious about the parking rules.
We are currently in sort of a lawless period-classes started at the end of August and the deadline for decals is this week. So, things will probably improve quite a bit after this week.
I did try to use my shiny new $200 decal to find a spot close to my office, but no luck. I ended up parking at the stadium (as I have been), in the general lot, and walked the quarter mile or so to my office. No big deal, but for $200 I’d rather like to get something a little closer. Plus, when I was carrying shelving to put up in my office, that was a bit of a walk.