There is every indication that the Cambridge police department will hand out large quantities of tickets to parking violators in the next few weeks. Past experience shows that wholesale tagging will do nothing more than fill the coffers at the police station.
Parking is a serious problem in Cambridge. It can be solved. But there can be no solution of any sort unless the Cambridge authorities realize one basic fact--some streets must be opened to night parking.
University parking lots cannot handle the large number of student cars. There are now over 2,000 cars registered with the College and many more unregistered autos. Obviously, there is need for accommodation of the overflow, and night parking on the broader streets is, at present, the only feasible solution.
Some students, furthermore, find it inconvenient to use University lots because they must use their cars frequently. It is absurd to expect them to walk to the Business School lot several times a day to get their cars.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to open all streets to parking near the dormitories. Narrow streets like Mill and "Fender Alley" must be left clear for snow and fire equipment. Police should consistently tag autos on such streets in order to prevent dangerous hazards.
The ultimate answer to the parking congestion does not rest solely with the Cambridge authorities. The University must make its parking spaces more attractive to the students. Perhaps lowering the rates or establishing week-end or single night fees might fill the University lots. These changes would particularly discourage students who bring cars from nearby homes over weekends from using narrow Cambridge streets for night parking.
The yearly threats and drives of the lacol authorities are unpleasant for students and police alike. It is unnecessary that these drastic measures continue when a few dollars and a few hours consideration will clear up the parking muddle.