Rachel Ourada | Thursday, February 5, 2004
Hello Notre Dame! It’s time to learn something really important that will be good to know for the rest of your life. No it’s not metaphysics of weasels or advanced basket weaving. This, my fellow Domers is a basic tutorial on parking. Now parking is something that should have been learned naturally around the age of 16, or whenever a driver’s license was acquired. It’s a sad fact that many members of the Notre Dame community are inexplicably incapable of placing their cars in an at rest position correctly. I am willing to assume that this is due to no fault of students themselves. Perhaps you had no good parking role models. For example: your parents didn’t drive, had chauffeurs or are wild dogs. So to make Notre Dame a more responsible parking community, let’s run through some common parking misconceptions.
“Sometimes I can’t see the yellow lines in the parking lot – should I just park anywhere?”If there is a space between existing cars – you should park parallel to the other cars, not at an extreme angle. Also make sure that you are parking in an actual row – not the aisle.
“I’m really important! Can my car occupy more than one parking space?”No.
“It snows a lot in South Bend, but I just don’t understand why you can’t park where the snow piles go from plowing the parking lot? And what do those crazy signs mean that say ‘no parking January-March.’ What if I just park behind the snow pile?”Whoa there, that’s a complicated question. First off, it does snow a lot in South Ben, and this time of year, it’s not going to get warm enough to melt all the snow anytime soon. That means that every time it snows there is more and more snow in the lot. To stop the entire thing from becoming a slushy mess, Notre Dame plows the aisles between cars. This is where the snow piles come in, as the snow from the aisles is pushed to these specially designated areas. Think of them as parking spaces for snow. If there is snow there, it’s parked and there is no room for your car. As far as the signs go, Notre Dame assumes that its students can read basic English, which means if it says no parking, don’t park there. Parking behind the snow pile is also a big no. If there’s snow there, then you are not actually parking in the spot, you are in the aisle.
“I’m in a big hurry/ really lazy. Can I park anywhere my car stops?”Ah, you are confusing parking with your car being at rest. Summer houses in the country have huge driveways so wherever your car stops, it’s parked. This, however, is Notre Dame and there are not enormous driveways. Cars have to be parked in designated areas. This means no parking where other cars have to navigate the lot. So, no creating that special parking spot at the end of the row just for you. Lots are carefully organized to allow cars to both be at rest and navigate through the lot – it’s not up to you to change them.
” I really want to find a parking space- is it polite to follow people around until they reach their car?”Following people is, in most cultures, considered stalking. It creeps out the people you are following while at the same time makes you look like a big jerk. So please leave the pedestrians alone and just find an available spot.
I hope that this little tutorial will be a help to the Notre Dame driving community. If you need more help, try practicing at large parking lots – like the mall or Meijer. Take the time to park correctly in every available spot. And don’t come back until you figure it out.