By Dana Corvil
A typical Monday morning on the College’s campus looks something like rush hour in a small city. Between vehicles constantly turning, horns honking and pedestrians crossing the street, chaos might be the best way to describe commuter parking on campus.
Some students have felt the need to arrive on campus far earlier than necessary in hopes that they can ensure a close parking spot and avoid being late to class.
“I’ve been late to class a few times because there just weren’t any spots,” Anthony Ortega, a senior physics major, said. “It’s not really the best situation, but what can you do?”
Students have long expressed concerns over the quality, usability and overall lack of parking made available for students, so it is not surprising that these concerns are arising yet again as this project moves forward.
An email from Joseph Como, the executive of student accounts, stated that beginning March 21, students are permitted to use Lots 6, 7, and the upper levels of Lot 13. Half of Lot 5 and 4 were made available for both faculty and student use, though Lot 5 is currently reopened at almost full capacity.
Ticketing for parking in these designated lots will be suspended, as long as students follow all other parking regulations.
Since the announcement of the solar panel project, there have been some unforeseen circumstances forcing the project into a delayed timeline. Parking lots that were closed one day were re-opened on another and closed back down the next day.
The introduction of solar panels on campus is expected to provide reliable energy, reduce harmful emissions and reduce operating costs for the College. At the end of this solar energy project, the benefits are expected to outweigh the cost of the temporary inconvenience of closed parking lots.
“One of the ways we can be more sustainable is through alternative energy sources that are not based on fossil fuels, and you know, solar energy,” President Kathryn Foster said in a previous interview with The Signal.
Brittany Cheng, a senior special education major, leaves home up to twenty minutes before the start of her classes, and still tends to find herself struggling to find parking. The most convenient place for Cheng to park would seemingly be Lot 17, the lot adjacent to the education building, but the one-story lot rarely has available parking spots.
“I mostly park in Lot 7, it’s kind of the center of everything. But some days I either have to go all the way up to the roof or just leave the lot completely because there are no spots left,” said Cheng.
The issue is not that there is absolutely no parking, but that a lot of the parking is on the outskirts of campus.
Being that a majority of education buildings are closest to Lots 5, 6, and 7, it makes sense that students hesitate to park in the more distant lots like Lot 17. Whether a student is a commuter or resident, the struggle persists to find a spot that is close and convenient.
“We have enough parking on campus. We just don't have it where everybody necessarily wants to park,” Vie President Sharon Blanton said in a previous interview with The Signal. “We've run the numbers I don't know how many times and we are absolutely confident that there are enough spaces on campus.”
The project is currently ongoing, and staff at the forefront of the project are constantly updating members of The College.