OPINION | Higher prices now, bigger changes later

On July 24, Butler students received a brief email on the Butler Connection detailing an increased price of parking decals from $60 to $75.

Although this larger price tag might leave a sour taste in students’ mouths, the extra money will go toward feasible, positive changes.

The message alluded to “new parking-related software,” which left the question of what exactly will be improved.

Butler students can rest assured that this new software is a legitimate improvement.

Among the greatest changes for the citation software is a system that may result in fewer parking citations for students and faculty.

“We wanted to be more green and intuitive with our parking systems,” said Ben Hunter, chief of staff and executive director of public safety.

Currently, the citation system relies on paper.

It also cannot recognize students and faculty living in the nearby Butler-Tarkington neighborhood.

Any faculty, student or member of the Butler community who parks in the neighborhood could be ticketed due to the parameters of the 1989 local agreement with the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association.

This creates a substantial problem for students and faculty living in the area.

If people from the Butler community park on the street in front of their house, they are liable for a citation.

Now with the advent of the new software, Butler community members can opt for the free Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association permit.

“This is a tool to reduce the frustration of seeing a green envelope on your windshield,” Hunter said.

Basically, the permit allows people who live in the Tarkington neighborhood to park on the street without fearing a citation.

Of course, there is a slight drawback.

Those who use the BTNA permit can no longer park on campus.

Still, it isn’t too terrible a trade-off considering most of the houses within the neighborhood are a couple blocks from campus.

Even better, within a year, the new system could let those living in the neighborhood park there without the BTNA permit by flagging and recognizing the “do not ticket” cars.

The exact results of this experiment won’t be known for a couple months.

Still, this innovation in the citation system is commendable.

In the midst of rising tuition and fees, shelling out extra money for a parking decal is not so palatable.

But should these new citation systems prevent other students and faculty from seeing that dreaded green envelope, then it’s an extra cost worth taking on.

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