Fix Ole Miss Parking sign now


From: Ole Miss Student Body
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Dear Chancellor Jones and the Ole Miss administration:

We, the undersigned, are submitting this statement of support as representative of our concerns on an issue that affects our daily lives as students at the University of Mississippi. Because students are so profoundly affected by the decision making processes concerning parking and transportation on campus, we feel compelled to speak on behalf of the student population and request your consideration of the following proposal.

We believe that the present parking situation on campus is, in the long run, untenable and that action should be taken. We realize that you and the administration are working hard to address this situation, and we submit this proposal to you because we wish to take the values we have learned in the class room - the supremacy of reason, the value of open debate - and use them to enact real world change.

To help alleviate the parking problem on campus, we would like to petition the administration to set aside 7\% of the annual revenues collected from traffic tickets for a special fund that will be used solely to promote alternative forms of transportation on the UM campus. Specifically, we would like to apply the funds towards the following 5 goals:

1) A card-swipe bike rental system: Bike sharing will be both the most expensive and most impactful of the goals. We were hoping for something similar to the B-cycle system (bcycle.com) or the Bixi system (bixisystem.com). Such a program would require significant investment but is the type that is needed for this to work as a viable public transportation system. Moreover, we would eventually like to partner with the city of Oxford to create a program with maximal impact.

2) Bicycle lockers for peripheral parking lots and dormitories: Lockers would allow people to store their bikes on campus instead of having to use a bike rack on their cars or leaving them to withstand the elements. We would position these at the far parking lots, in conjunction with a Green Parking decal (explained in point #4), and at the residence halls. Lockers could be rented on a semester basis for a small fee that could be used to maintain the lockers.

3) Map cases, time cards at campus OUT stops, and maps showing the local bike trails and routes: Students and members of the community are presently not well-informed of OUTs routes and schedules, which we believe is discouraging usage. To maximize the Universitys already made investment in the OUT system, we encourage the implementation of these simple measures to increase ease of use.

4) Green parking decals: At the beginning of the year, students could apply for a parking decal at a greatly reduced rate in exchange for being restricted to peripheral lots, such as the one behind Kinard and the MDOT lot past the baseball field, except during times of poor weather where the decal would then revert to a regular commuter pass. The ideal situation would be for students parked in these lots to be able to check out university-owned bikes or hop on bikes they have stored in lockers at those lots and then return them at the end of the day.

5) Continue to pursue other options to address this situation: After these initial reforms, we hope that the administration continues to find and pursue other means to improve this situation. This includes considering the adoption of ride sharing programs such as Zimride (www.zimride.com), car sharing programs such as Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) and exploring, and solar powered shuttles that will encourage use of the exterior parking campus parking lots.

We realize that it is only if we work closely with the administration in the coming months and years to solve the problem and not merely to complain about it that this problem will be resolved. Please, consider this proposal an open palm, extended to you and those in your office. We look forward to getting started.

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Eddie MasseyBy:
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