LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More parking isn’t the answer

I have little compassion for VIU students over this issue, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Petition launched over lack of parking at VIU, Sept. 28.

I have little compassion for the students over this issue because several years ago a decision was made by the VIU Students Union not to support the transit’s U-Pass option. Adopting this option would have given bus passes to all students at a very reasonable cost while giving the RDN the extra cash to invest in more routes to the university. This decision has made students more dependent on the single-occupancy motor vehicle. Even though transit has greatly expanded its service in the last decade, a lot of students (and staff) continue to drive, insisting on the university to provide parking for them.

Yes, it often takes longer to go by bus. This is a great time to catch a nap, read that textbook, reply to one’s e-mails or to meditate.

Yes, quite a few students live in rural areas or outside of the bus system. The RDN needs to work to secure places for these students (and others) to park and then take a bus to the university.

Cycling is also an option for those who live within a reasonable distance.

Simply providing more parking only contributes to non-sustainable transportation, pollution and cost, rendering a world that many of these young adults will likely not wish to inherit.

The university, transit and the city can work together as a model for all of us. Let’s applaud them leading us into the 21st century.

Ian Gartshore, Nanaimo

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