Commuters unhappy over closed lots

The office of Campus Planning and Construction recently released an e-mail to the student body and faculty saying that access to parking lots 3 through 5, lots typically used by the College’s commuter students, would be closed.

Lot 5 is already being used to park construction vehicles and also functions as storage for the new apartments being constructed along Metzger Drive.

The fact that this parking lot is being used leaves the rest of the parking lots for students full and not entirely accessible.

“I’ve been commuting for a year and already have a hard time parking,” Matt Loyer, sophomore art major, said. “After (noon) you have to park far as hell away.”

The peak hours at the College for students to find parking is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Between these hours, most of the lots that are used to hold commuter parking are completely filled.

“Parking is already an issue, especially when we have bad weather and they don’t salt the parking lots,” Alison Trotta, senior English major and commuter, said. “They shouldn’t take away these lots – if you’re paying for a parking pass, you should have a space.”

Brian Murray, director of Campus Planning and Construction, said he wants to bring more green space to the campus and take away the impervious soil so as to cut down pollutants that corrupt the soil.

This impervious soil, especially in winter months when there is a lot of salting, is harmful to the environment, he said.

To achieve this vision, the College wants to promote vertical as opposed to horizontal parking. The construction of the new parking deck was in accordance with this vision.

Murray said while Lot 5 is currently being used for construction storage purposes, in the future instead of having that hard pavement, there are plans to build another surface and make more green space.

Murray also said every week he visits the new parking deck to see how much of it is actually being used.

Much to his surprise, he said, the only level in the parking deck that is at full capacity is the one at the bottom. The two upper levels are hardly even being used, Murray said.

When asked why he thought that may be, he said “it’s all a matter of perspective.”

According to Murray, students think that the parking garage is so far away from the main campus that they will be late to class, when, in actuality, the parking garage is very close to campus.

Students who have problems with the new plan are encouraged to consult Kathy Ragan, director of Student Financial Services or Kathy Leverton, associate vice president of Administrative and Environmental Services.