Parking, wherefore art thou Parking?

The lack of safe, affordable parking coupled with the recently raised parking meter fees adds another stress to Wayne State University students. The prices of the parking structures has been raised a significant amount each year and this leaves WSU staff and students with few affordable options.

parking meter\

If you go to Wayne State University, one thing everyone has in common is the frustration with the lack of adequate parking.

Detroit has been in a world of financial troubles lately. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr was quoted in the Washington Post saying that Detroit payed more to issue and process tickets than they did collecting them. It costs $32 to process a $30 ticket.

That was before July of 2014. They raised parking meter ticket fines from $20 to $45.

Although Wayne State University has its own police entity that patrols a two mile radius around campus and can issue traffic violations, the Detroit Municipal Parking Department manages the parking meters that are along almost every street throughout WSU’s campus.

Tiffany Phillips, a junior Pre-Nursing student, knows all too well about the hassel of parking on campus.

There are some free spaces, but they are far.

a mile to park

The Wayne State Police department, (313)577-2222, is very quick and reliable, but when you are walking from a night class alone, you’d rather not be parked far.

So who exactly are the bad guys? Everyone wants to get angry with the parking meter attendants or “meter maids,” but they are only doing their job.

Kyle Adams, former parking meter attendant for the City of Detroit, said that he empathized with the students he ticketed, but he was only doing his job

Some people wish parking meter attendant would just go away.

everyone hates meter maids

Maybe people shouldn’t give people like Kyle a hard time. He is only doing his job.

So what are some alternatives?

uber

Uber is an alternative that some students are utilizing to combat the parking meter fee hike. In June of 2014, the City of Detroit raised the parking meter fee from $20 to $45, which is more than double.

I got a chance to talk to Devin Richey, an Uber Driver that sometimes drop WSU students off on campus.

Taking an Uber to school is starting to be a new trend, especially with the lack of parking available.

uber to avoid parking

Devin is making money from Uber so does he think they should lower parking meter fees so more people can park on campus instead of driving? The answer is no.

Wayne State University is very aware of the fact that there are limited parking spaces on campus so they offer solutions of their own, like Ridesharing and semester parking passes.

parking pass

WSU has a parking and transportation office located in the Welcome Center. Latrina Smith, an employee there, noted how they receive little to no notice when prices are changing and she offered a few alternatives.


When asked which option Latrina uses to park on campus she answered, semester parking passes.

Although Latrina prefers the parking passes, not all students can afford them.

expensive parking passes

It seems like students cant get a break. But look, it gets worse. It’s now finals time and there are police orders all around campus in the few free spots available that read, “No Parking.”

police order no parking 1

Like the cars pictured here, people are parking under these signs without even realizing.

no parking zone picWell, it looks like the best solution is to hurry up and graduate so you won’t be burdened by the never ending parking structure costs or parking meter fees. The safest solution is to get a parking pass if you can afford it. And the most economical solution is to park free but far. Just remember to walk with a buddy or two to stay safe.

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Book Review: Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks

Yochai Benkler explores how the human collective is more powerful than self interest in his book, “The Wealth of Networks, How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.”

The_Wealth_of_Networks_Book_cover

The Wealth of Networks, by Yochai Benkler, is a book about how we can come together via the internet and social networks, invest a small amount of time and create something large and great. Wikipedia is referenced throughout the book and it is the perfect example of how the internet has allowed us to come together to create great things.

“The removal of the physical constraints on effective information production has made human creativity and the economics of information itself the core structuring facts in the new networked information economy” (Location 107 of 69954, Kindle edition).

I enjoyed this book because it puts into words all that is currently happening in the age of social media and what is to come. We will continue to create as a group of individuals on a network, opposed to operating solely for self-interest. The book was strongest when speaking of how, as a collective, we can do great things, like the various points on Wikipedia.

Benkler’s book was interesting, but difficult to read. The book was weak throughout because it was very difficult to read and understand. With the use of uncommon words and lengthy sentences, it’s easy for the audience to get lost in the words, opposed to the message of the book.

For example, in the chapter, The Internet As A Platform For Human Connection, Benkler was explaining how communication is a result of the social relationships that we have and how technology plays a role in how we communicate.

Benkler went on to say:

Technological determinism is not required to accept this. Some aspects of the difference are purely technical. Script allows text and more or less crude images to be transmitted at a distance, but not voice, touch, smell, or taste. To the extent that there are human emotions, modes of submission and exertion of authority, irony, love or affection, or information that is easily encoded and conveyed in face-to-face communications but not in script, script-based communications are a poor substitute for presence (Location 5008 of 6954, Kindle edition).

This passage, like most of the book, is very repetitive and too wordy. Books should be easy to read and understand, in order for the author to get his point across. The book was neither.

The Independent Review took on Benkler’s book and provided a review.

Also, Lynne Kiesling reviewed the book on the blog, Knowledge Problem.

Yochai Benkler, “The Wealth of Networks, How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.”

New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006.

Kindle Edition, $8.99, Amazon.com

As a journalist, to Tweet or not to Tweet?

Can journalists use social networks to express opinions or advocate for causes?

 Twitter Jail

ONA’s “Social Network and The Key Issues” document says that as a journalist affiliated with a news organization, you become a representative. Everything you say and do could reflect on the organization and affect people’s ability to see the news organization as unbiased and objective.

Most news organizations have a style and way that they report the news, and their loyal consumers get used to the system.

Most organizations are getting wise about social media and drafting a social media policy. The most common thing in all the social media policies that I have encountered is that the employee cannot talk bad about the organization.

Even personal blogs can get you in trouble if you are talking negatively about your blog, if you get caught.

In 2013, an investigative reporter for WAAY, an ABC affiliate,  posted a list of confessions to her personal blog and was fired. Some of the confessions included, “My best sources are the ones who secretly have a crush on me and I am better live when I have no script and no idea what I’m talking about.”

The company didn’t appreciate this blog, once it was discovered, and fired her.

Octavia Nasr, former CNN Middle East Editor for more than 20 years, was fired due to her Tweet expressing sympathy for the passing of a controversial figure.

CNN

The Tweet didn’t seem malicious, but it seemed like she didn’t consider how all of her audience would react to her Tweeting about this controversial figure.

Factory workers are only at work while at the factory. Nurse are only at work when at the hospital. Journalists, once your name is officially affiliated with a company, are always at work. You are a representative of the company and must act accordingly.

No offensive tweeting.

Thanks for reading!