I interviewed a friend at Bucknell. She is a junior majoring ACFM, 21 years old, and 5 years driving experience. She just got her car in the U.S. last summer. Although it has only been one semester, she has already gained much experience in terms of parking at Bucknell. Interestingly, she is from a very large city in China where parking is also a nightmare.
The Interview Process
To start off, I asked her where she lives this semester. Her answer was Bucknell West. Bucknell West is one of the farthest residential buildings on campus. It is not surprising to see her driving to her classes. She usually parks at Smith parking lot at around 8:10 am. Her classes are mostly in Taylor Hall. Although Smith parking lot is not very close to Taylor, it is the closest lot she can find. She only parks at the parking lot for one and a half hour. Her general feeling about parking at Bucknell is it is extremely hard to park at the Academic West parking lot. Whenever she needs to park there, she has to drive circles to find a parking spot. Quite often, cars comes after her find a spot just because they are lucky. She seemed pretty upset when this kind of thing happened to her. She also mentioned even some staffs and faculties took students’ parking spot when they can’t find a place to park their cars. Overall, she hates the parking experience at Bucknell. We also thought car-pooling might be a good way to reduce vehicles on campus, so I asked her if she’s willing to share rides with others. She said as long as she knew the person, she would be willing to share.
Why We Are Doing This Interview?
My group has always been observing the parking experience at Bucknell University. We found out that users at Bucknell generally aren’t very satisfied with their experience in terms of parking on campus. Therefore, we decided to work on the possible ways of improving parking at Bucknell.
In order to know what the real problems are we need to talk to users, i.e. Bucknell students, Bucknell staffs, and Bucknell faculties. Each of these groups of users have their perspective of what the issue is and how to improve parking at Bucknell. There is one way to solve all the problems: installing sensors at every parking spot and provide the information to every user so that they can know where to park directly and easily. Yet this idea is not applicable because the fees needed to purchase sensors and installing them are way over our budget. We have to come up with an alternative idea to avoid going beyond our budget but still solve the problems.
We learned from one of our guest speakers that data can talk. If we could find a large enough sample, we can further analyze the data and obtain information accurate enough to provide users where to park. In order to get all the information needed, each group member needs to find a person to interview and collect data.