No Parking Here
To the Editor of the CRIMSON:
It is a well known fact that the students of the University are fortunate in receiving their education at far less than cost. For this they should be, and undoubtedly are, deeply grateful. It is also generally recognized that the student body as a whole obeys rules laid down by the authorities of the University. And yet the desirability of one such rule is hard to understand.
During the past few days all cars left overnight on University grounds have been tagged. These tags in effect tell the owner that he has violated a rule of the University and that he must report at once to the Superintendent of Caretakers. Such a notice has come as a distinct surprise to most of these men. For years they have found University property a haven of refuge from the vigilant eyes of the Cambridge police. Now evidently the old order is to change.
It is not my idea to ask the authorities to change a rule which they found necessary, but to induce them to look at the situation from a student's point of view. A few days ago I learned that the monthly cost of storing a Ford in the garages near the Square is $14. The average price charged for a Cadillac is $20. By count on last Saturday night I discovered that 200 cars were parked on University property. Now if this rule is to be strictly enforced these 200 students will probably have to have their cars in garages. If they do, the expense taken in a lump sum will be very large. Assume that 100 of the cars are Fords. The owners of these cars will be force to pay $14 a month for nine months--a total of $12,600. The owners of the other 100 cars will have to pay approximately $18,000. In other words, living in Cambridge will cost 200 men $30,600 more each year than it has in the past.
If this rule must be obeyed, the student car-owner has three alternatives. First, he can pay his share of the $30,600--but this will not be done without protest. Second, he can do without his car, but I do not believe that he will unless the University passes a rule forbidding him to own one. Third, he can leave his car on the public streets, and take his chance on being arrested and paying innumerable fines. None of these alternatives is pleasant.
The University authorities undoubtedly have good reasons for enforcing this rule against parking. However, the only one which I can think of is their desire to decrease the risk of fire. Nevertheless, this does not seem to entirely justify their actions. A car parked between Langdell and Walter Hastings would not materially increase the risk of any of the surrounding buildings being burned. Why couldn't this space and that in front of Gore Hall be set aside for use." A nominal fee could be charged to cover any necessary expense. The University has begun to save students money on the purchase of second-hand furniture. Why shouldn't it do what it can to help meet this situation."
In closing I wish to point out again, that I do not merely desire to criticise, but to show a point of view which I know is worth consideration and which I do not believe has been fully understood. J. R. Fordyce Jr. '26.