There are few things more coveted at Baylor than a good parking spot. Like most college campuses, parking is at a premium and finding a location close to your classes is worth its weight in gold.
In fact, in search of the perfect parking opportunity, dozens of Baylor students have taken the plunge and bought or rented mopeds to get to class. The draw was simple: buy a simple $75 parking pass, and parking is virtually anywhere around campus.
But now the rules have changed. Baylor recently rolled out its new parking regulations, which feature a special section for mopeds.
Rather than parking anywhere like in the past, moped drivers must buy a designated parking spot at $125. Each pass will only buy a spot in one of four parking lots; a moped driver will not be allowed to park any other place on campus.
There have certainly been several reasons over the past few years to penalize moped riders. Many riders ignore traffic laws, disrupt foot traffic and inhibit entrances to buildings.
But while this plan is well intentioned when it comes to managing campus traffic, the policy goes too far.
Moped riders have made a significant financial investment for the sake of convenience. Taking this away not only takes away the biggest draw for mopeds, but actually makes mopeds less convenient than even cars.
Moped riders get to pick from one of four spots: a block south of the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, across Bagby Avenue., from the Baylor Sciences Building, near the Bill Daniel Student Center and near the Wiethorn Visitors Center.
Once a rider picks one of these spots, they are allowed to park only there. If a business major lived in Penland Hall, how can they be required to pick one spot? C Lot is right by their dorm, but A Lot is right by most of their classes.
With a car-parking pass, students are allowed to park in any garage other than the Fifth Street Parking Garage. There is never a guarantee there will be spots, but the options remain open.
Without question, the moped system from last year was an issue. Entrances to buildings became congested. Students who did not ride mopeds were inconvenienced by the ones who did.
However, there is a way to do this without inconveniencing riders. The designated parking areas are not in themselves a bad thing. The rules could easily be changed to allow riders to float between spots. Just like cars, if a lot is full, a rider must find another.
But taking the most convenient mode of transportation on campus and completely stripping it of its purpose undermines the investment of many students. The rules are well intentioned but need to be tweaked to meet the needs of students on campus.