Thursday, May 30, 2024

Students struggle for parking

Matthew Wendler

With the number of students that arrived on campus at the beginning of the semester, parking spaces have been filling up quickly with each passing day. Last year, there was less of a struggle with parking since there were not as many people living on campus. The recent influx of students this semester; however, has resulted in a greater difficulty for those who drive. Many students have found there are barely ever sports available in SUNY Plattsburgh lots. 

“There is no parking whatsoever sometimes,” senior business administration major Jack Baroch said. “You will leave for about an hour and come back and one lot will be completely filled up. Then, another lot will be half filled up, but there’s not that much.”

Parking near classes has been the main problem for many students. Spaces located near the class halls are limited, and can be challenging to obtain. Often, students who can’t find a spot will have to park on another part of campus farther from the building they need to be in. Depending on the time, this could result in students showing up late to class. Freshman nursing major, Alexis Staves, once had to run to class from the other side of campus after failing to find a spot.

“There was one day I was coming home from a weekend, and I came back on Monday morning,” Staves said. “I couldn’t find an on-campus spot near my classroom, so I had to park all the way over by Wilson Hall and then run to Hudson for my class.”

Freshman cyber security major Sarah Stolfi said she won’t even use her car to get to classes because she doesn’t believe she would be able to get a spot.

“I don’t drive to classes because I’m not guaranteed to have a parking spot, and it would just make me late,” Stolfi said. “So, I just keep my car parked, and I just walk to classes.”

One question on the minds of some students is whether something can be done about this parking situation. There are a couple people on campus who believe some of the off-campus parking spots should be reduced to on-campus spots. Freshman history major Quinn Pasquale is one of those few.

“I think it could be improved easily by just changing some off-campus parking spots to on-campus parking lots because the off-campus ones are never full, even during the day,” Pasquale said.

For others, the spots in these locations seem to be either nearly or completely filled up. 

Even though parking seems bad this year, it may be no different than the parking from prior years. In a past Cardinal Points article titled “Campus Parking Nightmares,” written by Kara Bennoth on Feb. 2, 1983, parking still proved to be a prevalent issue. 

Kara wrote about how 3,675 students registered their cars at the university with only 963 available spots in September of 1982. She also added that only 528 spaces were available for 1,900 on-campus students and that 475 spaces were available for 2,075 off campus students. The limited number of spaces led to more complaints among the campus population and more parking violations. The problem seems to still be prevalent to this day. 

Seth Silver, an investigator for the university police, has been working for the campus since 1991. Over the years, he’s had his fair share of experience with campus parking. This issue is nothing new to him; however, there isn’t really a lot that can be done to relieve it.

“There’s only so much that can be done about parking,” Silver said. “People have to know where they’re going, know where the parking lots are, where they’re available, and plan accordingly. There’s plenty of parking on campus, it just may not be convenient to you.”

One thing that could possibly resolve parts of the issue students are having is the addition of more parking lots. This action, however, would come with a price. More parking lots would lead to less nice, open and recreational spaces on campus for people to enjoy. 

“There’s a balance between parking spaces and nice areas on campus,” Silver said. “Do we want a nice green field out here or do we want a parking lot? You have to, you know, pick and choose. Do you want tennis courts to play on or parking lots? There’s a balance to it where you have to have some greenery and some other features of campus besides parking.”


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