A (gate left) Open Letter to URI…

Dear University of Rhode Island Parking Services,

I was a student in 1988.  I started working for the University in 1989.   Parking was an issue.  Always has been, always will be.  I’m pretty sure when the school opened there were horses and buggies sharking each other for open trees to tie up to.  Come the late 80’s, the spots after 9am were few and far between.  So I started coming in early.  I’d get to campus around 7:30.  Grab the same spot in the fine arts parking lot.  And sit around.

Pretty soon I realized that was pretty wasteful.  So I found an on campus job that would allow me to work 8am shifts and get PAID for coming in that early and finding a plumb parking spot.  Win win, right?

RIGHT!  I got paid.  I was there for my 9am art classes.  And I could see my car when I ran out to pee.  Seems like pure logic.

Before I even graduated, I started to work at getting a job at the school.  I loved the environment, I loved what I was doing, it was another win win for me.  AND an added benefit is I got way better parking.  I got a pass.  And a swipe card.  And I could get through gates and park in places the students only DREAMED of.  PERQ!

As you know, I tried, and I failed some.  (You know what you did URI.  You know the waste of money you caused by hiring certain people instead of me, who waste your money by going on trips and teaching classes instead of working at their jobs.)  But then I finally earned a position.  And I’ve kept it for over 15 years.  And I’ve worked my ass off.

And I have a parking pass.


The whole point of having gates is to let the correct people IN, and keep the rabble OUT.  Correct?  I mean otherwise, why would we have gates?

Then why… WHY… WHYYYYYYYYYY??????exclamationpointquestionmarkperiod do I regularly come to my parking lot and have the gates raised?

Image Especially at lunchtime??  WHY!?  Can you tell me?  (You can comment at the bottom of this page, URI.  And I hope you do.)

So today, I came back from lunch, and found the Chafee lot gate strangely (not really strangely, as it is so often it is nearly a given) open.  And students flooding in.  And there were no spots.  So I was in the awkward position of having to find a spot in 5 minutes or be late back to work.

What did I do, you ask?  I parked illegally.  In one of two spots outside of Rodman that are strangely NOT spots.  They are there.  They are car sized.   They are just not legal spots.  I can only guess it is because if someone needs to get to the emergency phone, we want to make sure they don’t have to turn sideways first.  Fine.  I left ample space on the other side and in front of me if there is a mid-day assault.  I didn’t want to, but you forced me to.  You FORCED me to.

You can see in the picture that there was plenty of space, and honestly, if someone is getting chased by a group of drunken frat boy thugs, odds are they would get bottlenecked anyway, giving the victim a chance to hit the blue button.  So I was really doing a public service.

So my plea to you.  For the people being victimized.  For the people who want to go for a drive at lunch.  For the people who have worked here for fifteen years and earned a parking space.  Please keep the goddamned gates closed.

It’s not physics.

For the record, three seconds after I walked away from my car, this fucking spot opened up.  But that’s not the point.


And someone at URI drives a Lotus!  What are we paying these people!?!!!?!



7 Responses to A (gate left) Open Letter to URI…

  1. goedjn says:

    I suspect that the reason that’s not a parking space is that they want to provide wheelchair access to that emergency phone.

  2. kinkajou says:

    Don’t you try to give me your logic here Goedjn!

  3. dihard11 says:

    I seem to remember that the reason they leave one up in the winter is to prevent them from freezing shut. If that happens then the cars are locked in. I forget who told me this. So once the spring arrives, the gates will go back down. I could be wrong.

    • John Nada says:

      Nice Answer… But if they put them up at night why not put them down in the morning before people start to arrive? They don’t want them freezing overnight I’d imagine – but I don’t notice this type of activity at gated parking garages in Providence or anywhere else (that I’ve seen)… Maybe we have cheap gate equipment/machinery?

      BTW – I have a picture I took of one of the Parking people sitting in their car in front of an open gate checking for tags.. Well this person was asleep and I saw about a dozen cars go by this person (while I waited for Pizza at Kingston Pizza so you know the gate and lot I’m referring to).. So we know they will do that much if the gates are open (just not all the time).. I doubt sleeping was part of the assigned task though.. hahaha

  4. John Nada says:

    Goedjn: Ban Wheelchairs! hahaha

    Seriously, this whole Gate fiasco at URI is laughable! The area in charge of it’s status have not been doing a service to the University’s employees..

    View from the top: Why should they care? To them we shouldn’t feel so “Entitled” (not all businesses have their own parking and not all of those business pay their employees extra for 3rd party parking).

    My Take: I’m sure this boils down to “Perception” in some way (never fails not too)..

    One reason is that the Colleges are gearing up to have parents & family of current, past and perspective students in next month (events, graduations, perspective student meet & greets etc) and I doubt that they want the parents asking questions like “Why can’t my kid be able to park on campus? There’s never parking for the students! What will you do about it?”… Doubt that would fly during a presentation for potential students (And we all know that in Rhode Island it’s about “Who you know” so the word will spread quickly)..

    Soooooo… They quell the whining by leaving gates open and more access to buildings just before the colleges start schmoozing families and having big events etc… The current students get access to parking (even though the signs at each gate clearly specify who can park in said lot) and the complaining quells just in time for events & graduations etc..

    Then again it’s a State College and it may just be laziness.. Who knows..

    BTW – This is South County and there’s more than enough room to create parking (rural area).. Part of the plan to expand the university should be planning for more throughput; MORE PARKING for MORE PEOPLE! To show that I’m not biased I will say I’ve heard rumblings (for awhile now, nothing in writing) that a “Parking Garage” idea has been pitched and may be acted upon in the next decade.. (yeah, a parking garage in South County! 5 Million acres to work with (guesstimate) and we decide that a semi-rustic, stone buildings (around the quad at least) well over a century old campus should have a parking garage in the middle of it.. That sounds “Beautiful”, doesn’t it?

  5. goedjn says:

    Oh, I agree that the parking situation is bad, and that the gates seem are open and closed at seemingly random intervals. I’m just saying that those two particular stripy places may be non-parking for a reason. In which case, they should probably post signs so that people know why they shouldn’t park there, since the cross-hatching isn’t getting the job done.

  6. radki says:

    Even if they leave gates up so the mechanism won’t freeze, it was 40 degrees today.

    I’m still mad about the day in 1990 when URI towed my car because the aisle where I parked at 7:30am was declared a fire lane at 1pm.

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