Unfiltered Thoughts: Missed Opportunity

I work at a large state university, and parking on campus is steep. If you don’t have a campus permit, there are some private metered spaces around, too, where you can pay by the hour or a couple lots where you can pay by the day. Then there’s the church that pays someone to sit out in their lot and collect $10 a day to park in their lot.

I forgot my permit today, but lucky for me, there’s a free lot nearby. It’s so weird that there’s this big parking lot just beyond campus that’s…well, free. It’s got to have at least 300 spots. There’s no slot for you to walk to and shove your $5 in to. There’s no dude in a booth collecting your money. It’s the closest lot to my building, and it’s probably at least as close to campus as the giant student lot, which is not free, so, as you can imagine, folks like me who work on campus and students all take advantage of this free lot. Every single day.

Let’s assume that there are 300 spots, and they’re filled M-F. Even if you charged $5 a spot (as opposed to the standard $10 that places like the church charge), that’s $1500 a day. And that’s just M-F. And that’s also assuming only one car per spot per day, not that one person, oh, I dunno, leaves at noon and someone else pulls into the same spot and pays another $5 for 1:00-5:00. So that’s $30,000. A MONTH. Conservatively. That some idiot is strangely not collecting. It’s so weird. And lest you think that whoever owns the lot is just AWOL – in prison, dead, whatever – nope. Because some weekends, there *is* someone in the lot collecting $10 to park there for special events.

But back to this $30,000 a month that someone is missing out on. If whoever owns that lot doesn’t want that money, how about I send some kid to sit down there in a polo, with a clipboard, a table and a large, professionally printed laminated sign to start collecting people’s money? I don’t know about you, but I could sure use $30k a month.