Not another parking article

Navigating Ferris' parking with Ehlers-Danlos

If I get a parking ticket, I’m going to lose my mind.

Ferris has a parking problem that many students hate. The university has failed to fix it. For me personally, it’s much more than just an inconvenience.

Like other West Campus residents, I have quite a hike over to all of my classes and work given the fact that my parking pass only allows me to park in my apartment’s lot. 

Normally, I wouldn’t necessarily mind a 20 to 30 minute walk in good weather, which is never a guarantee in our beloved mitten state. Given the fact that I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, that’s changed.

EDS is a connective tissue disorder that can cause frequent dislocations, or subluxations, of almost any joint. My hip and femur is just one of several joints that loves to slide out of place. Usually, things like KT tape helps people with the hypermobile subtype of EDS keep their joints in, but that is unfortunately not an option for me.

Walking anywhere for over five minutes leads to my hip popping out or subluxating. After showing a few physical therapists, a service I can no longer afford, they were shocked that I could even stand, let alone walk.

The joy of this disorder is the more a joint slides out, the easier it slides out the next time. However, it wasn’t deemed worth it to give me a handicap parking pass.

At most stores, I can park pretty close to the front and stop walking more frequently without looking like a lost Sims character. Here at Ferris, however, it’s a different story.

As I’ve gotten older, my EDS has only gotten worse. No amount of parking changes will fix the walks inside the buildings, but there are other solutions for that. Parking doesn’t quite have a simple change.

Technically speaking, I’m only supposed to park at West Campus. That means a long walk for pretty much everything. If the parking here was just a bit different, that could all change.

I refuse to pay $130 for a parking pass and then be expected to pay more to park on campus at the meters. Sure, it would save me some pain and reduce the wear and tear on my joints that have decided to prematurely act like they’re 80, but it’s not exactly a cost effective plan. I could park for just the duration of my class and hope that I don’t get a ticket, but that’s not a cost effective plan either.

There is some public transportation available, but it’s not always reliable. Quite frankly, I’ve found it a little confusing to even figure out how it works and struggle using the app.

It would be a lot easier if Ferris would listen to the thousands of students that drive about the parking issues. Students, professors and guests alike struggle with where they can park and the honestly ridiculous fee of the parking meters.

I know I’m not the only student on campus who has mobility issues, and I’m certainly not the only Torch writer to talk about parking, but I hope to bring a new perspective during disability awareness month to the never changing issue of this campus.