Read between the [double yellow] lines

Natalie Spears, Special Features Editor

With more than 3,500 students and nearly 350 faculty members on campus on any given day, parking and traffic can be messy. With limited parking spaces near academic buildings and dorms, students often find themselves circling campus parking lots or endlessly waiting for an open spot.

When unsuccessful, students turn to extreme measures in order to park their cars, for example squeezing into spaces that are either illegal or unworkable. Then the inevitable happens–a parking ticket. To many, it becomes more of an annoyance than a convenience to have a car on campus. Students complain about parking restrictions in central locations like Larison Hall and across from Seventh Street Cafe, for example. 

Traffic safety has also become a big problem at the University, as some pedestrians report that they feel unsafe. This month, for example, a student pedestrian was hit at the Seventh Street and Moore Avenue intersection by another student. Other students have shared their driving grievances, and Public Safety officials offered thoughts and advice regarding the issues.

Student sound-off:

Many University students are dissatisfied with the parking and driving dynamic on campus:

“Every time I try and park uphill for classes, there are never any spots close enough to academic buildings, and I end up losing a good spot I had downhill by my dorm. It’s not worth it, so it’s easier for me just to walk to class,” Jackie Nicoletti ’18 said.

“It’s definitely frustrating how much visitor parking there is on campus, when there are students and faculty who can’t even find parking for classes. I would think that students and faculty should take priority in this regard, but they don’t seem to,” Lisa Jouravleva ’18 said.

“Downhill parking is a definitive problem on the Bucknell campus. Once, unable to find another spot, I parked on Seventh Street outside of Hunt Hall. I’m used to parking in 24-hour student spaces so it completely slipped my mind that I would need to move my car. Two snowy days later, I returned to find three soaking wet, obnoxiously pink parking tickets on my windshield. It was very frustrating!” Ellen Higbee ’17 said.

“Especially after seeing an ambulance outside of the Langone Center a few weeks ago, I definitely feel a little bit nervous walking around campus when it’s dark out. There are times when I honestly can’t tell if a car is going to stop when I’m in a crosswalk,” Molly Farrell ’18 said.

Public Safety perspective: Chief Barilar

Chief of Public Safety Steve Barilar addressed some of the main complaints students have regarding parking and safety issues on campus.

Do you think that there is adequate parking for students on campus?  

While we have spaces to accommodate parking for our students who have a vehicle on campus, accommodating a campus community of about 5,000 people in a way that allows everyone to park close to their classes, offices, etc. is just not possible here (or on any college campus I’ve ever visited).

Why is there more convenient visitor parking on campus than student parking?

We have a limited number of visitor spots. They’re not necessarily in more convenient locations; it depends on where the visitor is going. Please keep in mind that visitors typically spend a brief time on campus, and aren’t always familiar with how to get around, so asking them to park by, for example, Lowry House when they are visiting Freas Hall doesn’t make much sense.

Have you received a lot of complaints throughout the years about parking/traffic safety?

While my office often hears about a lack of convenient parking on campus, I’ve had very few complaints about traffic or safety issues.  

How do you handle students who bring cars on campus without a permit?

Generally speaking, they are cited for the violation and have additional restrictions placed on them for their sophomore year.

Do you think that the traffic and driving situation on campus is dangerous? If so, what is there to do to make it safer?  

I do not believe the traffic situation is dangerous, nor is there any evidence to suggest that it is. Given the amount of foot traffic we have, it’s important that both drivers and pedestrians remain attentive as they make their way around campus. In any situation–parking or otherwise–a little extra attention and courtesy benefits the entire campus.

Ticket tips:

Parking may always be an issue on campus, but Parking & Traffic Coordinator Lisa Lapp provided some inside knowledge on the process of giving out tickets, and what students can do to avoid or appeal them.

1) When do you give out parking tickets?

Officers issue parking tickets to both students and staff when they are found in violation. This is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2) Under what circumstances do you give out parking tickets?

Parking tickets are issued when an officer sees a parking or traffic violation, or a complaint call is received and an officer responds. All parking and traffic violations are listed in the parking regulations online. Each student and staff member who registers their vehicle online must agree to review and comply with the regulations and to familiarize themselves with the campus map (also made available online with color coded and numbered lots) upon registering the vehicle online.

3) What does one have to do when they get a parking ticket?

The parking ticket charge is electronically attached to the B-bill or can be a paid in person at the Finance Office in Marts Hall. They should also review the reason for their violation so that it can be avoided in the future.

4) Can you object to a ticket?

We have an appeals process in place. The [Parking] Appeals Committee is comprised of one student, one staff member, and one faculty member who review the appeal and render their decision to grant or deny the appeal. All appeals are submitted online and must be done within 10 days of the date of ticket issuance.


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