Commuters are finding it more and more of a challenge to comfortably park their cars.
Ann Szipsky, the University’s Parking Services Manager, said that 4,369 parking passes were sold this year, more than double the 2,569 spaces for general parking on the main campus, excluding handicapped and reserved spots.
For freshman commuters last year, the luxury of a near-empty campus could not have prepared them for the current nature of parking on campus. As of Oct. 13, Szipsky said that there also have been 1,279 parking violations.
“[During] my first two semesters, I had never parked in the garage, and on my third day parking there this year, my car got hit,” Madison Huntley, a sophomore criminal justice major, said.
Huntley said that as a result of the hit and run, her car had several scratches and dents on both front doors.
Many commuters said it is not only hard to find spots, but that the spots themselves are substantially smaller than any they have parked in before.
“They need to make these parking spaces bigger, because when pulling in, I feel like I am about to hit the car next to me,” Kiera Jesus-Rosario, a junior social work major, said. “We were gone for a year and a half, and they couldn’t fix that?”
Weather also challenges commuters. Jessenia Lugo, a freshman nursing major, said that getting off campus during the flash floods from post-tropical cyclone Ida was a frustrating process.
“It was really difficult because it felt like everyone was trying to get off campus at the same time,” Lugo said. “No one was letting anyone out with how backed up it got.”
Her car troubles continued off campus, too, when she got lost and her car died.
“After my car shut off, I cannot even lie, I was really nervous,” Lugo said. “It was already 6 p.m., and it just kept becoming more and more overwhelming for me.”
Lugo said that she was able to make it home safe, but her trip home could have been made easier if parking on campus was made more accessible and met students’ needs.
“There is rarely an open spot in the lot, and the parking garage is packed,” RosaLia Fenoaltea, a senior elementary and special education double major, said. “The parking passes are fairly steep for not being able to find a spot easily.”
Despite parking troubles, Szipsky said that there are currently no plans to increase the number of spots available on campus.
Mikayla Downer can be reached at email@example.com.