Friday, August 29, 2008

Mayer: Pay to park? Please!

A space in the lone on-campus, tailgate-friendly lot designated for parking by people outside the Williams Educational Fund - lot 90, east across Naismith Drive from Allen Fieldhouse - will cost $20 this season, up from zero a year ago.

KU football gameday parking


You get all agog about a football team and its prospects, then have a jug of Gatorade dumped on your enthusiasm when facing the perils of parking, which so many Kansas fans have to conquer.

With the Jayhawks coming off a 12-1 Orange Bowl season and hopes soaring for 2008, wouldn't it be wonderful if there were simpler ways to get to the stadium and luxuriate?

Gets tougher and costlier every year.

Now once-free vehicle slots are demanding $20 ($40 if your metal monolith devours two niches).

To draw the treasury-boosting crowds KU desires and needs, it takes a good team and recent success. It would be so much more fun if it were simpler to get there. Scrounging around to park, closer than Eudora, can lessen the festivity of gridiron outings.

However, there may not be a school in the country with an ideal parking layout for everyone. The guys who chose Mount Oread as the site for KU never dreamed there would be motorized onslaughts such as we see today.

Just dreaming - wouldn't it be fun to park, casually amble not too far to the stadium and visit with fellow fans? Then do likewise after the game, either celebrating or commiserating?

I envy people who have established a rapport with residents adjacent to the stadium where they can park, enjoy get-togethers before and after, then depart with relative ease. Never thought I'd feel that way, but they have more fun than the park-and-shuttle victims, who've already paid dearly for tickets and now have to add parking lugs.

Think back, if you can, to when Friday nights involved almost-mandatory attendance for Lawrence High games at Haskell Stadium, when the Lions were fashioning things like 47-game win streaks and perpetual state titles. You didn't need a press pass to park fairly close and get out reasonably soon.

When you have easy, free parking access to athletic events, they tend to be a lot more enjoyable, particularly the older you get. KU never has had ideal conditions; things aren't getting any better. Yet most won't gripe as long as the Jayhawks "just win, baby!"

l I wanted to hug every member of the women's U.S. Olympic basketball team as they stood on the gold-medal stand and sang, some tearfully, the national anthem. They were overcome with the occasion, and so was I as they smiled, cried and sang with such immense pride.

Felt the same way about the U.S. gold medal men's volleyball team. Several members began to sing, and the others picked up on it and all finished mouthing "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Yeah, I'm hokey, old-fashioned, but I'm glad to find some company among the modern jocks and halter-tops.

l Sorry if you think it's sacrilegious to criticize swimming giant Michael Phelps, but I thought he showed a glaring lack of grace when 1972 icon Mark Spitz was paying Phelps all those compliments during a dual interview. Phelps seemed almost studiously avoiding a simple, sincere "Thanks, Mark!" Or, "I'm humbled." So self-immersed he missed a great chance to show the kind of class Spitz did.


Jonathan Allison 9 years, 10 months ago

I thought that Phelps was really trying to be reverent to Spitz, and Carl Lewis, and whoever that Russian gymnast was and all of the great olympians of bygone olympiads. He certainly wasn't communicating it very well, but he clearly was a little emotional and unprepared to talk to Mark Spitz.He kept saying things like "it's an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mark Spitz." But yeah, a simple "thank you" cna go a long way.

jcepp 9 years, 10 months ago

I am curious as to why he'd even need to go to the games. He just dusts off the same drivel he's been writing since manual typewriters were the rage and changes the names."if we win our first 3 games, we could be 3 and 0, but if we lose to that up and coming Tulsa/Central Mich/Toledo/fill-in the blank squad, we start the Big 8/12 slate at 2-1 and need to win at least two on the road to qualify for a bowl."Thanks Bill.

HawkDigestCom 9 years, 10 months ago

I would think a veteran like Bill would know the in's and out's of KU parking by now. It's always been pretty simple to get close to the stadium and thank God we don't have a massive asphalt lot like Arrowhead.

KUFan90 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree plastic. I was fine with Phelps interview with Spitz. Give the guy a break. Any idea how many of those freaking interviews he had to give day after day while also trying to stay focused and win 8 gold medals? Yet with all that going on I thought he remained humble and was honored to be mentioned with Spitz, and had a decent rapport going with Spitz during the interview.Strange we are addressing it weeks after it happened, at the bottom of an article whining about parking at Memorial.

5DecadeHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

This issue is perfect for the LJW. They have something to complain about no matter what.1. If KU has a crappy team, the LJW can complain about the crappy team that few fans want to come and watch play.2. If KU has a good team that plays games in Memorial Stadium and fans come out in droves, the LJW can complain about traffic and parking.3. If KU has a good team and plays a game where the traffic and parking are easier, the LJW can complain about moving the games to another stadium.4. If KU builds another stadium on the outskirts of town with plenty of parking and easy access, the LJW can complain about drawing people away from local businesses, and abandoning the old traditions of Memorial Stadium on campus.The LJW is giddy. They get to slam KU and Lawrence no matter what happens. The only thing that's surprising about it this time is that it's coming from Mayer. I thought he was smarter than that.Note that the LJW could very easily be working to help the situation rather than complain about it. There are many local citizens working very very hard to minimize the traffic issues. How about a story about those unsung efforts? I guess the LJW thinks the local newspaper should be the only ones capitalizing and profiting on the success and added popularity of KU FB, and a National Championship BB team. Were the commemorative LJW books about last year's Orange Bowl team given away for free? I think not. What about the LJW book about the National Championship? Was it free? Don't be daft! Should fall Saturday issues of the LJW be free on the newstands when the big crowds arrive? Should LJW advertisers get free ads on Saturdays? Now there's a couple of ideas!I sure don't see the LJW proposing giving any of their additional revenue away. I wouldn't expect them to. It's how things work. Parking is no different. Personally, I'd prefer traffic and parking to be the problems that we have to face rather than a crappy team that nobody wants to watch.

okjhok 9 years, 10 months ago

Mayer, try as you might, you're not bringing me down from my football high. It's finally here...

cdorssom 9 years, 10 months ago

Every now and then, Bill actually has a positive take on KU athletics. Of course, this effort was more of the status quo. So, here we are, on the eve of one of the most, if not most important seasons in KU football history, and his commentary is on parking, as if paying to park at athletic events is a novel concept. Finally, who's Michael Phelps? It's football season, my friends. I've already forgotten about Phelps.

aberger 9 years, 10 months ago

After reading Bill's column I came away with the impression that this was not someone who had ever attended and parked at a KU football game or many sporting events at all for that matter. Parking for free between 6th and 9th streets and walking for 10 minutes is always an option. Has Bill ever been to Arrowhead? They have a sea of parking lots out there and guess what - you pay $40 and you might end up walking in from one of the lots on the outside perimeter and it might take 10 minutes or more. Then he says that he envys "people who have established a rapport with residents next to the stadium" If by establish a rapport he mean pay them $20 or more he would be correct. Then he goes on to lament the "the park-and-shuttle victims, who've already paid dearly for tickets and now have to add parking lugs" Again - these people only have to pay for parking if they choose to. Also - does Bill have any idea what a KU football ticket costs? My season tickets cost about $35 a ticket. Even if you add in $5 or $10 per for parking (assuming I pay the $20 and am not in the car by myself) that brings it up to $45. This a completely reasonable price to pay to see the excelent product being produced by Coach Mangino. It seems Like Bill has lost touch with reality. This is a pretty low standard of jounalism. The LJW should demand better.

Nigel Dunham 9 years, 10 months ago

5decade:Do you honestly believe that you are impressing anyone by your posts? Seriously, bashing someone's professional career, especially when unwarranted, is crossing the line. Greene did great work here and we all know that he'll continue to do great work.I'm very glad that Ryan continues to call you out. You are a floating turd and you really need to get a life. I just wish that you were a fan of MU or KSU, cause I'm embarassed, as a KU alum and fan, to be associated with the likes of you.

d_prowess 9 years, 10 months ago

I have had season tickets for about 10 years now and I don't think I have ever once paid for parking. The streets east of the stadium all allow parking for free. The early you are, the closer you will be. But even arriving about 30 minutes before kick-off, I still generally can find something between 6th and seventh street.If you are forced to walk from where you park, i would rather park for free than pay $20.

rgreene 9 years, 10 months ago

5Decade, do you ever think about anything other than the LJW? Your obsession is borderline sick.

Ross Cargo 9 years, 10 months ago

He sure sounds like a big whiner. Pay to park. Not a new concept. Park and walk. Not a new concept either. Take a shuttle. What's the problem here?

5DecadeHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I'll hand you one off the top of my head from last week where I remember that I complimented Dugan:(and making Mizery jokes at the same time, of course, but still keeping it all in perspective.)

LAJayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Traffic problems?! Seriously?I lived in Lawrence for 10 years, and, I'm sorry, you guys really have no idea what constitutes real traffic problems. Spend 5 minutes out here, Mr. Mayer, and you will get some perspective.Go to a Dodger's game. The old saying about that stadium is that everyone shows up in the 3rd inning and leaves at the 7th because it takes you hours to get in and out. What's sad is that joke is the absolute truth.Or check out the Rose Bowl sometime. Sweet Jesus.Or how about a neighborhood stadium elsewhere in the country similar to Memorial? Try Wrigley Field. Less seats than Memorial, but good luck parking anywhere in the same zip code.Seriously, I've gone to many, many games in my time in Lawrence (some full or nearly so) and I always parked somewhere between 6th and 9th about 30 minutes before the game. Are you telling me walking a couple of blocks past excited fans enjoying the pre-game festivities in the streets of Lawrence is really THAT big of a deal?? No wonder we are the most overweight nation in the world..............

bigjay83 9 years, 10 months ago

Ryan,The answer to your question: No he doesn't.Your analysis: Dead on. Actually check that, 5Decade's consistent obsessive, rude, and annoying bashing of the LJW isn't "borderline" sick. It has long since past the line.

JayViking 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure those apartments don't appreciate it; I've wondered why they don't try to crack down on the parking. I used to live up there and admittedly I parked in my old lot after I moved out.Who cares about paying to park? Like they said, there are free options. Some people would rather pay for the convenience. That's fine so long as there is always the cheaper choice!

bmcmich1 9 years, 10 months ago

There is no problem -- he was obvioulsy looking for something to complain about and parking is all he could come up with. I'm pretty sure most people attending KU games have a friend, friend of a friend, son or daughter, or friend of a son or daughter who lives near memorial and would gladly let you park there for free or a reasonable price (and yes, $20 is a reasonable price -- if you can't afford $20 for parking either on your own or as a group, you probably shouldn't be going anyway).Or, here's a novel concept: WALK!!!! I swear, some of my best gameday memories have started off in the neighborhoods to the west of JRP with a great walk to the stadium, chatting with or giving a simple 'rock chalk' to other fans doing the same.What's more, you want to see parking nightmares, move to one of the three biggest US cities. I belive LAJay already touched on this, but I'll add my two cents: I live 10 mins south of Wrigley and it is a veritable nightmare on gamedays. There IS parking available, but you'll pay roughly 50 bucks for a spot within a block of the stadium. Most people WALK. But you know what? Nobody complains, because they love the atmosphere, and I for one LOVE the gameday setting at Memorial more than anything, and would probably have a stroke if I saw KU was going to build a new superplex off K-10 or announced another game at the asphalt wasteland that is camarohead.So what if they want to charge $20 to park in that lot -- like me, I'm sure there's no love lost between most alums and the KU parking dept, so stick it to them, exercise your right of choice and park somewhere FREE.Like okjhok said, I'm not gonna let this ridiculous gripe ruin my gameday eve. ROCK CHALK!!!Diatribe over.

okjhok 9 years, 10 months ago

I always used to park in the apartments northwest of Memorial...Sundance, I think. It's an easy and scenic walk past the KJHK studios and there was always a spot up there. Anybody know where I'm talking about? The point is, there is free parking. You just have to go find it.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not exactly what I was asking for; you were still very, very negative.I would like to see you compliment a writer without punching him in the kidney at that same time. Likewise, it would be nice to see you say an article is well done without tearing into the LJW and it's leadership (we all clearly know your feelings on this). Again, still very negative.You talk about a "negative slant" in most of the articles written here, and, yet, your posts are consistently very negative. It really drags a lot of your fellow Jayhawks down. I do think there is a difference between offering suggestions for improvement and repeatedly bashing a news outlet.Obviously you have the right to say whatever you want. And, as I said before, this isn't my fight. I doubt what I say will have any effect, but I just thought I would, respectfully, share my opinion with you.Rock Chalk.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

5Decade,This isn't my fight, and I'm not going to get into it. However, I would like to ask that since you want to point out what you call "negative slant" reporting by the LJW, can you please also do the opposite? If you see an article that is well done, will you give it praise?I don't have the time or energy (nor do I care enough) to go through your previous posts. So you don't need to tell me you've done it before; I won't check into it. I'm just asking from this point forward that you tell a writer (even Dugan) that an article he has written is well done when it is. That's it. No negatives. Is that possible?

5DecadeHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

To answer Ryan Greene's question:Yes, I think about lots of things. I think about how much fun this summer has been playing hoops with neighborhood kids and re-enacting Mario's shot. I think about how much fun Saturday will be, no matter how much a cranky few want to make it sound terrible.I think about many hard working friends and family that I've known for decades that live in and around Lawrence and how they love the community. I think about them every time the LJW finds yet another way to slant their coverage to make things look worse than they really are.I think about how they tell me to please keep saying the things I've been saying because Lawrence area residents have been too frustrated and too silent about it for too long.Once again, Ryan couldn't dispute any of the things I said, so he resorts to attacking the messenger. Again. Since Ryan brought up the subject of sick obsessions. I spent a whopping 10 seconds and typed, "Ryan Greene Las Vegas Sun" into Google. Ryan's story archive for his new job tops the list.Hey. Impressive volume of work he has there.As I type this, that's 3 whole stories for your new employer. A writer must be sweating bullets from that kind of overwork. A story a week? Or is it worse than that? I guess all this time spent posting on keeps a writer from doing his job, hunh? I'm sure Vegas is happy to have a journalist that cares so much about covering their local sports that their time is spent posting in Lawrence Kansas.Crying in the past about dealines that come around once a week?HOW CAN A WRITER HANDLE THE PRESSURE?

JayCeph 9 years, 10 months ago

Lawrence isn't a big town. Even parking downtown, one can enjoy a nice leisurely walk to the stadium. Why is this even an issue?Are people really THAT lazy? Can KU capitalize on the relative ambivalence of society to pay an exorbitant price for something that is so superfluous as remote parking rather than hoof it? Sadly, yes.This is only an issue for the aged and infirm. For everyone else, the opportunity cost is laziness for dollars. You pay what you get for...

5DecadeHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

NDD:I appreciate your right to your opinion.I don't agree with it, but I appreciate your right to it.I will decline your invitation to make comments about you personally or call you names. I really could care less if someone is impressed by me or my writing ability. What I care about is people seeing what has been going on for years at the LJW. I will continue to do it, even though it can become tiresome. The anti-KU and anti-Lawrence slant has become beyond tiresome and I'm willing to take a few personal hits to make sure everyone sees what has been going on for years.I wasn't bashing Ryan's career. I was responding to his non-sensical obsession comment.What Ryan labels obsession. I label passion and dedication to my community.What you label 'calling me out'. I label 'name calling', while avoiding the facts and issues under discussion.What you claim is embarrassing from me, I wear proudly.Neither one of you have attempted to dispute the positions that I initially typed. You simply attacked the messenger. What you don't understand is that I actually like Bill Mayer's writing when he focuses on sports. He's good. Really good. Today's comment is the first time I've ever posted something critical of something Bill has ever written. I didn't enjoy doing it, but it is necessary for me to be objective and consistent with my criticism. That means I need to willing to be critical of writers that I like. It's understandable that even a good man can pick up negative vibes from his co-workers.I didn't say one bad word about Bill personally. I made statements about the article and the position being taken. I didn't say one word about Ryan personally. I simply humorously pointed out one example illustrating Ryan's distorted perceptions. He was the one that brought up the topic of obsession, not me.Most people aren't that upset about one more parking lot now having a fee. A few of us are rather excited that KU FB is doing so well that we now actually have to think about parking issues for a game that has a 37 point spread. (not that I put a lot of stock in gambling lines.) It says a lot about how far we have come.As I just illustrated, this story has a good side. A very very good side. Did Bill bring out this positive side of the parking issue in his column?That's why I felt the need to offer the balance against the LJW's negative slant.As long as the LJW keeps casting issues inappropriately negative, I will keep drawing attention to their biased coverage with honest facts, a little humor, and plenty of jabs at the expense of our rivals.

5DecadeHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

At this point, the best compliments I have offered Doogie is to choose not to comment on the articles where he has improved a little.Nothing would please me more than to read an article from Doogie that I felt earned such a glowing compliment that you are asking for, LA.I'd say that we agree. If you are waiting for me to not have fun and not take jabs at our rivals (while not being vulgar), it will be a very long wait.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, then, I guess it's good to know you have no respect for your fellow readers and fans.Clearly you do not have the community's interest in mind in your posts.You have made it quite clear that you are an overtly selfish poster who hides under the guise of acting on behalf of the town when, truly, your intention is rather apparent: make yourself seem important by tearing down another organization. You do so regardless of the requests made by many, many other readers. Accusing the paper of only writing stories with a negative slant (a position that is patently untrue) while filling your posts with nothing but negativity and refusing to make a positive post is simply hypocritical.And please do not use the 'attacking the messenger' defense here. Clearly my post is aimed at your actions in which I have described in essence.

Joe Ross 9 years, 9 months ago

I havent been to Lawrence enough recently to know how parking goes on game days. When I used to go to games a lot, most often KU would have the game in hand. The Rock Chalk chant at the end of the game was my cue to leave the Field House and normally I made it out without too much difficulty (especially considering I got there early so I could get a good parking spot for an easy exit). I do agree though, that something could be done about the parking situation. I think it would work out really well if they built a couple of more parking facilities. Hey, when you run out of ground space...start building UP. Getting in and out of those can be a nightmare, especially after games. But at least sportsgoers could wait for an exit in cool cars in the warm months and warm ones in the winter, as opposed to having to walk. More parking garages and maybe another inroad to the venues. I hope some student in a civil engineering class will consider this and submit a proposal.I too felt Michael Phelps was a little self-absorbed during the interview. But Im not too hard on him. He is, after all, among the most fledgling of young adults and I question his capability as a public speaker from OTHER interviews. Having ADD, things like that simply may slip his mind. I also give him a little leeway because he may have been overwhelmed with the public media interest, the magnificence of the moment, or star-struck with Mark Spitz. In any case, he DIDNT do EFFECTIVELY what a lot of us wanted: to somehow tie his achievement in with another one that had been so significant for so long. I felt Mark Spitz was really trying to facilitate that and was gracious even while being snubbed by the USOC (in terms of accomodating Spitz' attendance). Phelps didnt take the bait, but then its hard for me to criticize a kid who's grown up with so many problems as he's had behaviorally. Its very clear that no one coached him on what to say...

rockchalk80 9 years, 9 months ago

Whine, whine, whine... is this really a story?

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