For senior Jessica Fontaine coming back to campus means seeing her close friends and walking around the beautiful campus. Unfortunately for her and many students it also means a return to parking on campus.
“Parking has been stressful,” said Fontaine. “I usually have to leave my house thirty minutes before my class starts and I only live five minutes away from campus. Even when I leave early, I often drive around campus for what seems like an eternity before I find a spot.”
Currently, students can apply for a residential parking pass that will allow them to park in residential lots or in the student overflow lot by the Trumbull Mall.
If a student is not a resident they can apply for a commuter pass that would let them park in the Main Campus lot and garage, the Martire lot, the West Campus garage, and the Center for Healthcare Education in addition to other locations off campus.
For some students on campus, paying for a parking decal doesn’t make sense.
“It’s hard to find parking,” said freshman Gabriella Valotto. “You need a parking pass to even park anywhere on campus which is money along with tuition we already pay.”
Sophomore Ethan Stieir expressed his frustration with many students who avoid paying for a parking pass.
“People pay $0 and illegally park and take spots from those that pay,” said Stieir. “Then you have to park illegally and get a ticket to your student account.”
Some students on campus have resorted to parking illegally to make it to class on time.
“No spots for commuters leads to people parking illegally all over and blocking roadways and fire lanes just to make it to class,” said junior Jackie Lage. “The students shouldn’t have to be there a half hour before class and sometimes still not find parking.”
Many students anticipate the difficulty of finding a parking spot by heading to campus early, but not every student has that luxury.
“I only have 15 minutes to get from my west campus class to the Pitt center,” said senior
Trevor Middleton. “With the very limited availability, I end up late to practice due to the fact that I am driving around in circles just waiting for someone to leave.”
Another big issue for students has been the closure of the Thea Bowman Hall parking lot which is making way for two new dorms.
“My window views the spaces outside of Theresa and every day I see cars lined up along the softball field because there are no spaces,” said Sophomore Alexis Detuzzi. “Last year it was pretty bad, but I think this year with them removing the parking lot in the upper quad plus accepting more students/commuters, all around it’s a fight for parking.”
As of now, there are plans for a new parking lot outside of the new dorms being built that will have 219 parking spots as well as a parking lot to be paired with the new hockey arena that will hold 759 spaces.