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Letter: Fan Parking Solution is a Little Exercise

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As a long-term residential renter and car owner in the Fan and Museum districts, scarce street parking has been a concern of mine at one point or another. Choosing not to participate in any of the decal programs, I sucked it up and accepted that, from time to time, I'd have to walk a block or two from the car to my apartment. However, this occasionally left me feeling slightly indignant, asking myself questions like, "Why are there so many cars and not enough parking," while worrying how selfish the numerous fire hydrants were to keep me away from the most convenient spots.

After reading your article, I felt like a brat ever having those feelings. At the time of my parking debacle, I was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University and employed in the area. Although I generally biked and walked to school, work, restaurants and the grocery store, there were still times where driving catered to my own laziness.

While "Spaced Out" did a great job of addressing the history of parking (or lack thereof) in the Fan, it fails to mention one of the simplest options to combat the issue: our own two feet. It's safe to assume that not only does a substantial portion of the student body at VCU live within a reasonable distance from campus, but most of them are perfectly capable of getting to class and around town by means other than the personal automobile. If Richmond ever wants to run with authentically progressive cities such as Philadelphia and New York, where finding parking two blocks from the house can equate to winning the lottery, residents in and around the Fan need to get out of the driver's seat and consider the alternatives. With a freshly paved stretch of Grove Avenue near the Monroe Park campus, biking is a breeze and perfect for the warm months coming up. And even if you're an apt student with an aversion to exercise, don't forget that VCU still offers free GRTC passes to those enrolled full time.

Carey Peaseley


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