Letter: Save the Georgian

Our anger over the proposed destruction of the historic Georgian building is compounded by the feeling that the University should be discouraging the use of motor vehicles on campus instead of accommodating those who feel they must drive to work and class.

Keeping personal motor vehicles off college campuses is safer for pedestrians, reduces pollution and saves finite resources (not to mention the $2 per gallon cost of gasoline). Many other universities have disallowed vehicles on their campuses or offered them only restricted access. For example, the University of Washington’s campus has gated road access, and cars are charged high parking fees if they remain inside for too long on weekdays. To aid commuters, an old railway was converted into a bike path and provides access to both downtown Seattle and the campus. Public transportation is subsidized, and bicycles are allowed on buses.

As an alternative to driving, we suggest that students and University employees consider bicycling, walking or taking public transportation to campus. With a decent, well-maintained bike, commuting is more practical, healthier and cheaper than driving. On campus, cycling is often even quicker than driving. Only those who live far outside the Champaign-Urbana area, those who need to transport items that can’t be carried easily or those who have a disability that renders them unable to walk or ride a bike should drive to campus, and we encourage these folks to use public transportation or carpool whenever possible.

If only those with a legitimate need to drive to campus did so, it’s unlikely we would have a parking problem at all. It’s unfortunate that our society revolves around cars to such an extent that historical sites must be destroyed simply to accommodate this unnecessary addiction.

Valerie Sivicek

Eric Gertner

graduate students