Research Assignment Reflection: Parking at UOW

I learned a fair bit about research over the duration of BCM 212 (and you would probably hope so to considering the entire course is dedicated to it) and was a topic that before I started the subject had considered relatively simple. Some of the major points that either weren’t obvious to me, or where obvious but were the sorts of things you wouldn’t normally consider until it was pointed out, were things like the ethical guidelines and procedures that needed to be followed while conduction research. This specifically took me by surprise because although I knew there would be some work that needed to be done it was strange to be doing things like adding paragraphs to the start of a survey explaining things like how participation was optional and where participants could contact me. Furthermore on this topic the idea of having to apply to receive consideration for any larger scale research really surprised me, the fact that there was an independent body monitoring different proposals and how difficult it was to have the proposal accepted by them without having to make significant changes. The other major point that was difficult to wrap my head around is the lack of interest from participants, even though my survey was only 8 questions long and was only limited to the BCM 212 course stream (where all other students were creating their own surveys that they needed people to do) it was difficult to get a reasonable number of responses, even with the encouragement of the teacher in the class. The main takeaway from this was how without any kind of incentive it is hard to get even a few minutes of peoples time.

If I was doing a research project for this subject again I would most likely change the topic I did it on. Not because I didn’t find the subject interesting, but rather because there was a very limited amount of available relevant and similar research. That being said there was no real reason to find similar studies but rather studies showing solutions to the problem I researched which could be found just about anywhere. Another thing I would have done differently would have been promoting my survey to classmates and others within the course stream, although I still got a decent number of responses (20), that is still a very small sample size considering there should be around 100+ students in the course. A final piece of self reflection would be to spend more time on the written components such as the opinion piece being submitted alongside this reflection, I have always had trouble with keeping my writing concise due to habits such as repeating myself and not allocating word limits to each topic that I want to write about. I don’t think it is something bad enough that I would need to redo the opinion piece now but it is certainly something that I should consider for the future to ensure efficient use of a word count.

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The Parking and Transport Crisis for Universities Everywhere

Transport to and from university is an issue that affects the everyday life of all university students and especially those that attend rural universities or universities out of the major cities such as University of Wollongong Australia (UOW). A large portion of students at UOW live in Sydney and are forced to either drive, which means paying large amounts of money on fuel along with often having to spend large amount of time looking for parking around the campus due to limited space or catch public transport on a train or bus that runs, for the most part, once every hour and lines up poorly with both the start, and end of classes. I want to write an article that addresses the issues for students trying to drive to University since the University, at least to some extent, can make changes or build facilities that would make driving, and also finding parking, easier and more reliable.

This is an important topic to talk about because I feel as though it has been a problem for as long as driving to campus has been a viable option. Although I am only in second year of university myself I doubt that it has suddenly become an issue in the past few years. In the case of UOW they have recently spent money on building parking facilities on campus in hopes to, at the very least, relieve the strain on the parking situation around the university and although I am certain it has made some kind of difference it has been so minor it is hardly even noticeable. It is a problem that the university (UOW), and many other universities in cities were spaces is even more limited, have been faced with for many years now and as more and more people start driving to university it only seems to be getting worse. This gradual decrease in viability of the current parking system has already hit a massive low with many people having to drive more than a kilometre from the university to find parking and a system needs to be put in place that will help to fix the problem rather than just delaying its progression (building new car parks). This issue is also relevant because as more and more people are driving to and from universities similar issues with parking and access (preventing congestion with so many vehicles around the one area) are rising in other areas such as business and high density suburbs where public transport is not sufficient and the average family purchases more cars.

I think this project is especially viable because of how there has already been a lot of research done from the early 2000’s to today looking at the growing issues around parking and transport especially in rural areas but also in major cities not only in Australia, but around the world.

The primary aim of the research will be to identify multiple long term solutions and strategies that will not only help the issue now but also be able to continue to cater as more and more people use cars rather than public transport.

 

References/Bibliography

Hensher, D. (1998). The imbalance between car and public transport use in urban Australia: why does it exist?. Transport Policy, 5(4), pp.193-204. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X98000225.

Joshi, P., Khan, M. and Motiwalla, L. (n.d.). GLOBAL REVIEW OF PARKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS & STRATEGIES. [ebook] Available at: http://www.transport-research.info/sites/default/files/project/documents/20150807_141918_57605_p111115001.pdf.

Nutley, S. (2003). Indicators of transport and accessibility problems in rural Australia. Journal of Transport Geography, [online] 11(1), pp.55-71. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966692302000522.

Shannon, T., Giles-Corti, B., Pikora, T., Bulsara, M., Shilton, T. and Bull, F. (2006). Active commuting in a university setting: Assessing commuting habits and potential for modal change. Transport Policy, [online] 13(3), pp.240-253. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X05001368.