Student drivers struggle to find parking spaces

Courtney Banks, Contributing Writer 

There are currently 1,259 students with active parking permits on campus, according to the University’s Director of Media Relations Mike Ferlazzo. Consequently, this makes it challenging for student drivers to find parking spots. It’s important to note that this parking space scarcity is more of a problem in some parts of campus than others, and it is particularly hard for students to find a spot in Center Campus, which is the parking zone that encompasses a majority of the University’s academic buildings. 

“I live downhill, with a parking lot right behind the Affinity House that I live in. Usually I can find a spot there, but sometimes it can be really hard to find an open parking space. There’s street parking on St. George on Thursday mornings, so on Wednesday nights I’ve noticed that the lots really start to fill up. I actually try not to drive later in the evenings on Wednesdays because I know if I leave my spot, there won’t be one when I get back,” Alex Ozazewski ’24 said. 

“I just stopped trying [to drive to class] at this point because it’s so hard to find somewhere to park and I end up being late to class,” Ozazewski added.   

Looking at a campus parking map it is evident that there are more parking lots designated for staff than there are for students near the center of campus.

The problem of parking availability has been an issue for university students since the beginning of the academic year, but recently it seems as if parking on campus has been increasingly scarce. One possible explanation for the increased difficulty in finding parking spaces could be explained by more students driving to classes rather than walking in order to avoid exposure to the cold weather. The result is more students searching for parking spaces that simply aren’t there for them.

“I’d say fifty-fifty, some days I drive to class, some days I don’t,” Phil Onffroy ’22 said. 

Jack Fiala ’23, who lives in the Center Campus zone, added that “Finding parking is very difficult.” 

Both Fiala and Onffroy said that they have received tickets for parking in faculty lots in the past. 

When students are not able to find a spot within a student lot, they often end up parking in staff lots. Ferlazzo shared that during the Fall Semester Public Safety issued 3,918 tickets and that the top reason for ticketing was for parking in an unauthorized space. This violation incurs a fine of $25. 

Parking passes cost $100 for the entire academic year or $65 for one semester. Looking at the cost of the permits for students alongside the number of parking violations and subsequent fines, it is likely that the school is making a significant amount of money from student parking. Ultimately, there remains a large parking spot scarcity for students as well as faculty members who don’t have the option to walk to campus.

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