As students search for parking, they may be wondering when the university is planning to expand parking on campus or into South Orange. However, the university has no immediate plans to do either. According to Ann Szipszky, parking services manager, the parking deck is at its maximum capacity for height restrictions.
The deck was already expanded and two levels were added from its previous height.
“During the weekdays, it’s extremely hard to find a parking spot until it’s night time,” Tony Angelella, a junior secondary education major, said. “During the weekend, it’s not hard at all. As a last resort, I park in the deck and I can always find something.”
“Some days, it seems like they’re no spaces, but if you go to the top level of the deck or behind the Recreation Center, you will find spaces,” Szipszky said.
Since the permits became available on July 1, over 4,000 various types of permits, including vender, special programs, and faculty permits have been sold.
There is no maximum capacity on how many permits can be sold. “The way our permits work, if you have a permit and a legal spot (between two lines) then you’re permitted to park,” Szipszky said.
As for students complaining about tight parking spaces, Szipszky said that the spaces are regulation size. “They have to be a certain size,” Szipszky said. “We’re not making the spaces smaller, but if we make them bigger, you end up losing space. We try to maximize the space we do have.”
Commuter students are allowed to purchase a permit to park on campus, as well as resident seniors, with 90 or more credits. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors are not allowed to have a car on-campus. The major exceptions to this rule are education majors doing field experience, nursing majors doing their clinical trials and engineering majors taking courses at NJIT.
Students involved with internships can also request a parking permit. However, in order to be approved, they need to have their internship approved through Career Services and have a minimum of 30 credits.
Once Career Services approves their internship, Parking Services will be sent a notification. Parking permits vary in type and price. The resident permit covers from Sept. 1 to May 18 and is $250.00. The half-year resident permit covers Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 for the cost of $135.00. According to Angelella, this is the permit that education majors are required to buy.
“They give you a half-year resident parking pass to make sure that you remain an education major in the second semester,” Angelella said. “I think it is a good idea because some people don’t stay education majors.”
Szipszky said that Parking Services is notified by the various colleges as to which education, nursing and engineering students will be eligible for parking permits. These students, however, are not allowed to purchase their permits online and must come into the office to purchase one.
Junior Manny Scarpinato purchased a half-year resident permit last year because he had a doctor’s note. He had a surgery in the summer that required frequent follow-up visits. Similarly, students requiring a handicapped parking permit need to contact Disability Support Services.
The University also has no immediate plans to expand parking into South Orange. For students planning on parking in South Orange, Szipszky advised checking local signs and restrictions to avoid fines.
Other New Jersey colleges and universities differ widely in their parking policies. Kean University, for example, according to the Web site, parking For free and students only need a decal on their cars. However, freshman residents are not permitted to park on-campus. Drew University restricts parking to junior and senior commuters, the College of New Jersey allows sophomores, juniors and seniors to park on campus, while freshmen are allowed two weeks of parking per semester and Princeton University only allows juniors and seniors to park on campus.
As for Szipszky’s opinion, as a graduate of the 1986 class, she feels that parking has improved, since there was no deck at the time and construction was happening.
“Parking was a nightmare (then),” Szipszky said. “For the past couple of years, I don’t think it has been that bad.” More information about Parking Services and the different types of parking permits can be found at their Web site.
Brittany Biesiada can be reached at brittany. email@example.com.