No free lunch or parking


There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or parking spot. How does free parking further the BYU Aims? The Universe article on Oct. 23 dealing with parking continues to espouse several myths about free parking, principle among these being that free parking leads to fair or equitable outcomes for everybody. There are many reasons why this is a lie, but in this limited space, I present three short arguments against that paradigm: First, land is not free, second, time is not worthless and third, asphalt replacement is costly.
Land, even bought with tithes, is not free. Every parking space is a place where we could have done something else with it. Every parking space, an area of about 300 square feet, is enough space to have another faculty office or half a classroom. Time, and gas, is wasted every day by those who seek parking spaces but do not find one in the first lot they look. BYU continues to pay for campus rejuvenation, done partly to improve transportation safety; the fatality on campus drive a few years ago drove part of that decision.
Who better to pay for safety improvements, than those who make them necessary by driving? What better way to manage demand for various lots than by market-adjusted pricing for each lot, whereby 90 percent of the lot is full at any given time? Students will then make our own money versus time choice, rather than being forced to always waste time. Isn’t that fairer?

Aaron Cook
Fort Collins, Colorado

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