Booting’s return to the University is a disappointing measure. It is unfortunate that UR Parking has felt it is necessary to return to this extreme punishment, but, at the same time allowing cars without the appropriate permit to take spots away from the people who have paid for their spot is unacceptable. There are alternatives to booting that could prove just as effective without being as extreme.
High registration prices discourage students from buying permits, meaning that they resort to illegally parking their cars around the River Campus. When they are ticketed, there is, at the moment, no way for Parking to make those students pay the ticket. Thus, the University is reinstating booting to make it so that illegal parkers are held accountable.
Another viable solution would be for Parking to decrease the permit price and then increase the ticket fee. This would encourage more students to register their cars and also make sure that students are held accountable if Parking has a name attached to a registered car in the system, it can enforce the payment of tickets. Additionally, raising ticket prices would deter students from parking in places where the ticket fee is high.
Lowering permit prices, and thus encouraging students to register their cars, would also help address another problem afflicting the UR community. Having a car allots students the ability to explore the Rochester community in ways that simply having a free bus pass does not. Involvement and outreach into the local community is something UR strives to do and encouraging students to have cars on the River Campus is a great way to improve that effort.
This is undoubtedly a difficult situation accountability is crucial and, under the current system, Parking lacks the ability to hold violators responsible. At the same time, instituting an unpopular measure such as booting is not the only solution. Parking can use this opportunity to establish a measure that not only appeals to current permit-holders, but also serves to connect UR with the greater Rochester community.