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Cover my car

Chris Khorey | Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I’m from Michigan.

I downgraded in snow when I traveled south to come here for school.

While most of campus freaks out about “South Bend winters,” I wonder why we only have one measly foot of the white stuff and why whiteout conditions aren’t a nightly occurrence.

But there is one part of South Bend winter that I can’t stand – wiping snow off my car.

Sure, I wiped snow off my car in high school. Every morning, I grabbed the brush from the back seat and knocked off whatever had accumulated.

But at Notre Dame, there’s a huge difference. I don’t drive every day. So when I go to collect my car from D2, I discover not only the snow from the night before, but the blizzard from last Thursday, the ice storm from two weeks ago, a layer of fossilized hail and the remnants of the tiny snowfall from before Thanksgiving that didn’t even stick to the ground but managed to stay on my car.

And that’s just on top of the car. Underneath and behind it is a layer of light brown sludge that the snow plow has packed in so hard I’m afraid it will dent my bumper if I try to drive through it.

Unlike the simple daily brush off, removing all of this snow is a solid half-hour job that requires both the brush and scraper ends of my handy snow-removal tool. Sometimes it also requires a shovel.

And it’s not just the hassle of cleaning off a car covered with a week’s worth of snow. That much cold water surround a car is absolutely awful for it. Every car stored in D2, D6 or the C-lot over the winter is slowly rusting away.

I have no recourse for this. All of campus parking is wide open to the elements.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The University should cover all of its long-term parking (by which I mean certainly D2 and D6 and probably portions of the C-lot).

This fits right with Notre Dame’s long term plan. In the D2 area, two new dorms are planned. They will take space away from D2 parking. So why not build another level on top of the existing lot? That would double the parking, and cover the cars below.

Of course, the second level would also need to be covered, so how about a nice-looking roof over the top?

The same thing could be built in D6, next to where the University (eventually) wants to build a hotel. It would provide extra parking for the guests, while allowing students covered parking – and saving us all from having to brush, shovel and scrape snow and ice off our cars.

So, administration, what do you think?