Parking should trump park

Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff
Editorial cartoon by Jacob Bogdanoff

The University’s student government has elected to turn the currently vacant area south of the Vista La Verne residence hall into a recreational space.

The area, called Leo Park, will include a basketball court, exercise equipment and free space for other “impromptu recreational activities.”

While the idea of a nice little park is nice, the site on the corner of D Street and the Arrow Highway train tracks, we feel, should be used for much needed additional parking spaces.

Instead of focusing its efforts on new areas for students to have fun, the University should be focusing its efforts on fixing the Vista parking situation.

Imagine a world where you pay to live somewhere. Now imagine that you cannot park at the place at which you paid actual money to live.

Imagine that every morning, before you can drive to your job or internship, you need to first take a shuttle just to get to your car.

If your internship ran late and you get back late at night, you are forced to take the shuttle back in a scene that plays like the exposition to most slasher movies.

If you live in Vista, you do not have to imagine this burden; a burden this vacant space called Leo Park could help to alleviate.

But instead of taking the initiative and giving Vista residents a more convenient, less dangerous parking alternative, the University opts to give students a place to shoot some hoops between classes.

Even the most basketball illiterate observer can see that this is what players would call dropping the ball.

Unfortunately, due to zoning restrictions, a building for extra classrooms and offices cannot be built in that spot because it is too close to the train tracks.

However, there’s no reason to not use the land to make more parking.

It is appropriate that the opening of Leo Park coincides with March Madness, because that is precisely the stuff from which this decision was born.

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