“It is true that this fall semester, especially the first week of school, the demand for parking in close proximity to the Quad is a challenge,” Julie North, director of Parking and Transportation, said.
Due to renovations to Hancock Stadium, many lots which were previously used for commuting students, were converted to lots for private users only.
North said the prior lot G73, which had 377 commuter parking spaces, has been closed since September 2012 because of stadium renovations.
“When the project is complete, parking will gain 102 commuter spaces,” she said. “Currently some of the space in the Ropp commuter lot, which has 255 spaces, is providing some overflow parking for the contractors working hard to finish the Hancock Stadium project.”
She said the loss of parking space this year shifted demand to the south campus.
“On August 26, parking opened 160 spaces to faculty and staff in a section of the South University Garage first floor,” she said. “We were able to add more commuter spaces into the G24 lot and there are designated commuter spaces on both sides of Dale Street.”
North said the Office of Parking and Transportation’s goal was to open more spaces for commuters in the area to help with the growing problem.
It is anticipated the demolition of the Outdoor Store on Main Street will be completed Sept. 16, 2013 and this will add spaces to the G64 lot, she said.
The demolition will provide an additional 150 commuter spaces to the current 22 commuter parking lots available, two pay lots and 333 metered spaces on campus, she added.
“I have had a very hard time finding parking on campus this year. Last year it wasn’t always easy to find a spot, but after I drove around for a few, I always found one. This year it isn’t always the case,” Jenna Cusumano, journalism major and senior, said.
Cusumano explained that this semester she feels as if she is driving around much longer to find a spot in a commuter lot.
“One time this year I left at 10 a.m. for my 11 a.m. class just to find a parking space. It took me 45 minutes to find somewhere to park,” she said.
Cusumano said if it gets to the point where she will be late for class she goes to the Bone Student Center and pays to park.
“I use this as my last resort now because the bone parking price has increased also, and I already paid for my commuter pass,” she said.
North explained if a commuter cannot find an available parking space they can contact the Parking and Transportation office directly at (309) 438-8391 for assistance.
“We also have green zone reserved spaces and other spaces available if students are interested in purchasing an on-campus space,” she added.
“I really hope this parking issue gets solved. More and more people are beginning to live off-campus and parking has become a major issue,” Cusumano added.