EC campus parking has been an issue among students and faculty for quite some time, but according to some, it seems to be worse than ever now.
“Parking’s even worse this year. I don’t find any space and it’s a struggle,” said sophomore Megan Dufour. “I’ve seen a lot of parking stalking going on.”
According to Marc Molina, executive director of Security and Emergency Management, parking typically gets better throughout the semester.
“Due to the layout of our campus, virtually every parking area requires an allotment of time for walking to campus buildings,” said Molina. “As the semester progresses, we usually see the parking congestion begin to subside, and campus community members begin to develop a routine that allows them to know how long they need to travel to campus, where best to park, and how much time they need to get to their classes.”
However, as of now, parking difficulties are affecting more than just students.
On the EC campus, there is no reserved parking spaces for faculty members.
“Our campus is structured in such a way that it is very difficult to ‘reserve’ parking areas for specific segments of campus,” said Molina. “Due to the physical constraints of our parking lots and spaces, much of our parking is used by commuters, staff, and faculty at different times and on different days. This creates a transient flow of vehicles for our parking lots, which best serves the general use of all parking spaces across campus.”
Ann Frank Wake, professor and chair of the English department, said that parking affects time spent in her office.
“I spend probably about five to seven hours less in my office every week because I don’t want to waste twenty to thirty minutes trying to find parking at times when I would normally try to be in, so I just come later,” she said.
EC senior Elizabeth Gordon described her parking frustrations.
“You end up having to park really far away and then run late to class,” said Gordon.
Dufour has come up with ideas about how to make parking for commuters easier.
“If [resident students] are not using their cars on a daily basis to get to class, they do not need to have prime parking spots,” said Dufour. “They can have their parking in some other space because it’s taking up space that commuters could use.”
Molina also provided information on when and where to find parking.
“If you are coming to campus at or before 8 a.m., you are likely to find parking in Alexander lot,” said Molina. “However, as the day goes on parking becomes scarce in the Alexander lot.”
“We often find parking is still available in the lots north of Walter Street, the Mill Theater lot, the spaces along the railroad, the Brune Tennis Court lots, lots to the west and north of Faganel Hall, as well as the remote parking lots,” continued Molina.
Beyond these options, there are also remote parking lots at St. Peters United Church of Christ and First United Methodist Church. Students can also use public street parking, which can be limited to 2, 3 and 6 hour parking, so being attentive to the signs regulating parking is encouraged.
EC has been working towards bettering the issue.
“Recently we created more parking spaces behind Schick Hall. We reassigned some of the reserved spaces on campus from special use to general use,” said Molina. “We also removed some of our fleet vehicles off campus onto other college-owned property so that we could free up more campus parking spots.”