By Suki Rowden, Staff Writer
One of the most common complaints, from students and staff alike, is parking. Many students have received tickets, especially in recent months. Students often complain of the long treks from the lots to the academic buildings or residences and park in other lots that are closer.
Senior integrated science major Amanda Pugliano states her biggest complaint about campus parking is in Lot N, in between the Dupre Science Pavilion and the Carey Student Center.
“I don't think they should ticket Lot N at night because sometimes I am there for a meeting. Also, I know that many students, especially commuters, feel uncomfortable walking around campus at night,” Pugliano said.
Like Pugliano, many students who reside in halls like Gerard, Aurelius, and Wimmer have complained not only about the distance from the lots to their rooms, but also the dangerous conditions during the winter. Oftentimes, students are walking on unsalted walkways or steps and are afraid of sustaining injuries.
Another troublesome issue is the lack of accessibility. In lots Q and R, there are no disabled parking spots, and it is difficult to enter the residences without traversing steep sets of stairs. Furthermore, the distance from the further lots like S and A may be too difficult to manage for people with certain medical conditions like altered mobility, respiratory disorders, and cardiac disorders, which limit their ability to safely travel the distance.
While all of this may be the case, parking in undesignated lots causes a cascade of other issues that lead to other problems, like lack of available spots and blocking fire lanes. Because of all of these moving parts, Dr. Jeff Mallory, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Saint Vincent, shed some light on the parking issues.
“Currently, we are in the analysis phase, trying to find patterns which change every year,” Dr. Mallory said. “There are also bench points of the semester where additional reminders are required to encourage correct parking.”
However, the biggest parking issue SVC is worried about is the rise in the fire lane violations in conjunction with the decrease in public safety staff.
Dr. Mallory used Lot N as an example as to why the parking situation on campus is so complex. This particular lot is widely used by five or six entities on campus at one given time, meaning strict management of its access is needed. Furthermore, there are peak times during the day when the lot has a greater volume of cars.
When questioned as to whether Saint Vincent has considered expanding parking lots amidst student and faculty concerns, Dr. Mallory stated that this would not be considered until the summer of 2023 at the earliest.
“For now, the main goal is to re-prioritize the parking lots to see if this would alleviate some issues.”