Parking garage changes spark controversy

Jack Hollis, Staff Writer

Recently Jade Pig Ventures, the owners of the parking garage in Gaslight, announced that starting sometime in 2019 the garage will have a “pay-to-park” policy.

When the policy is put in place, the first 30 minutes will be free. For every 30 minutes after comes a charge of $1.25, with a $15 cap per day.

“I dislike the proposed idea because I don’t want to have to pay when I park in gaslight. I think this will make even less people park there, even though not that many do now,” Sophie Forstner ‘20 explained. “I think $1.25 is too high because it should either be very cheap or free to park there.”

The general consensus amongst the community is that of confusion and disapproval. A post by the East Grand Rapids Gaslight Village Facebook page generated a large amount of debate and comments from community members weighing in on how they feel about the new policy.

One user posted a comment stating, “There are rarely available free spots and parking on Croswell is a joke. This is a big disappointment.”

The Vision Staff also took the liberty to take a poll to see what students thought about the new parking situation.

Out of 209 votes total, 205 students said they do not like the future policy. Only 4 voted stating that they don’t mind it.

A major factor for why students are not on board with this plan: convenience.

“I don’t like this idea because a lot of the time the parking structure is used as a shortcut to get through town, and now that you have to pay to get in people won’t be able to use it,” Caroline Roth ‘20 said. “I do think it will affect how many people park there because there are other places that are less convenient, but you can park there for free.”

Though the vast majority of students are against the future policy, there still are students who are alright with it.

“I like it because it gets people to think about walking or riding bikes to school if possible,” Jack Lang ‘20 said. “I don’t think it will affect how many people park there. If you can afford a car and gas, paying for parking probably won’t play too much of a factor, though the price could be a bit lower and still have the same effect.”

Whether the community supports the pay-to-park policy or not, it will still be implemented sometime during 2019.