"Our school has more cars parked above ground than any other university. Why don't people park in the underground parking lot? I wish our school were a clean campus without cars."
"I second that!! It is difficult to walk around the campus because of all the cars. Huh? Does our school have an underground parking lot? Where is it? I haven't known about it."
Like these two students, most Donggukians may think that there are too many cars around our campus. Some of the Donggukians may not know where the underground parking lot is.
As many universities have started the movement towards an eco-campus (referred to the cover story in the 365th issues of the Dongguk Post), they moved cars on the ground to underground parking lot. Because our underground parking lot is not fully used, lots of cars are still parked above the ground at Dongguk University (DGU).
The Post inquired about our present situation.
Actual condition of parking above ground and in underground parking lot at DGU
In DGU, there are 380 painted parking lot lines above ground. The parking lot above ground is always full. Also many cars are parked illegally. Too many cars spoil the campus scenery and disturb the movement of students. "Whenever I walked around the campus I can see only cars," said a student at DGU.
One way to overcome this problem is to have the cars parked at the underground parking lot located between the Main Library and Wonheung Hall. Unfortunately, however, it is not fully utilized and people do not know where it is. Also it is not large enough. It has only 50 parking spaces and the rest of the space is used for storage. How do other universities solve their parking problems?
The Situation at other universities
Sookmyung Women's University
Sookmyung Women's University (SM) has partially prohibited parking cars above ground since September, 2007. They removed the parking area lines in front of the Myungshin Building, Truth Building and the building of the graduate school. Before the parking on the ground was banned, the staff of the school and guests parked their cars at non-designated areas. The students complained.
SM does not permit parking above ground because it spoils the view around the campus. Also SM wants to protect their students' right to walk freely and get secured. SM then faced the problem of a shortage of parking spaces. At first, people who drove to school were dissatisfied and confused. Fortunately it was only a passing problem. "We ask for public understanding through signs saying 'Even if you are annoyed please park your car far away from the main Campus for students' security.'and this problem was solved within a month," said an official in charge of campus parking.
Now, people who drive to school can park in underground parking lots located on the Immanuel campus. The ground parking lots are now walkways and SM put flowerpots alongside the walkways as part of general landscaping.
Korea University (KU) was the first to build an underground campus Central Plaza, which is nicknamed 'GOEX' (a mixture of Goryeo and Korea's famous COEX mall) in March 2002. GOEX accommodates a large parking lot as well as a fast-food restaurant (Popeyes), a convenient store (Ministop), public health center and more. The parking lot has a 1000 car capacity housed on two underground levels in the GOEX complex. KU also constructed a underground campus 'Hana Square' with parking spaces in 2006 for students of science college.
After KU has built the underground campus, it banned ground parking. It became a campus without cars. "We could improve the educational environment with less cars on campus. Students can breathe fresh air and study in a greener campus," said Song In-sik, chief of the KU Public Relations Department. He added, "Officials of other university use our university as a benchmark for a car-free campus." Former parking lots now turned into beautiful park areas where students and residents near KU can relax.
Ewha Woman's University
Ewha Woman's University (Ewha) announced the grand opening of Ewha Campus Complex (ECC) in 2008. It is Korea's largest underground campus, measuring 558,069 square meters in area, about 10 percent of the total area on Ewha's campus. ECC includes an English Lounge, independent movie theater and a parking lot with a 750 car capacity. Ewha created a 'green zone' around the ECC where parking on the ground is normally prohibited except for special events.
Being a green campus without a car
DGU has many limits because of our geographical condition. What should DGU do to make a green campus? First, our school has to expand our underground parking lot because our underground parking lot is too small to meet the demand. DGU plans to construct a new building with an underground parking lot. It will begin to construct in January 2009. After the building is completed, cars on the ground will be moved to the underground parking lot.
Second we have to start special campaigns like no-driving-for-ten-days. There are many people who come to school by driving. Through this campaign and others, we can reduce the number of cars little by little.
Let's try to make a cleaner campus.
Lee Soo-jin reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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