Parking: the nightmare continues on campus

By on September 29, 2004

Many commuter and resident students alike have dealt with the parking situation here at Quinnipiac at some point or another.

For the resident students parking has been a struggle, as there are only so many spots available in the resident lots.

Ron Colavolpe, assistant chief for parking and transportation with the university’s security office, is aware of all of the issues that come along with having vehicles on the campus.

“Resident students are issued decals on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Colavolpe said. “Freshmen are prohibited from having vehicles at all on campus, except in extenuating circumstances.”

Currently, there are approximately three freshmen students that have cars somewhere on campus due to extenuating circumstances.

“Personally, I feel very strongly that freshmen students should not have cars on campus, as they need to spend time at school to adjust to their new way of life,” Colavolpe said.”Quinnipiac is also fortunate enough to have the shuttle system, which is a free service to all students, which alleviates the need for a vehicle.”

“Quinnipiac is also fortunate enough to have the shuttle system, which is a free service to all students, which alleviates the need for a vehicle.”

There is a rather lengthy process that the security office uses when assigning parking lots and decals to resident students. The Hilltop parking lot is reserved strictly for juniors and resident assistants only.

“It is important that the resident assistants have their cars in Hilltop lot so that they can access them easier if there is a problem or situation that arises with one of their residents,” Colavolpe said.

Sophomores were designated to the two off-campus lots, located off of Whitney Avenue and Westwoods Road. Once all three of these lots were filled with resident students, Colavolpe was forced to have students send their cars home.

“Unfortunately, there was just not enough space to meet the demand,” Colavolpe said. “However, a problem arose in that some of the students who did not receive decals were required to have their vehicles for transportation to and from internships or clinicals.”

“I could not deny them decals when their course of study requires them to participate in such programs to enhance their education.”

At this point, Colavolpe was forced to assign residents spots in the Hogan Road commuter lot. At the start of the semester he assigned 126 spots from the commuter lot to residents, but since then the numbers have started to dwindle down as spaces have arisen in other lots.

“Once the problem arose of having to park residents in commuter spaces, we began taking counts of the resident parking lots at 2 and 3 a.m. to determine the amount of open spaces each night,” Colavolpe said.

“Using these numbers of open spots from each lot, we were able to pull all but about 40 cars from the Hogan Road lot.”

Unfortunately for the security office it is very difficult to track decals that are not in use at all. Many students will register their vehicle, providing all valid information, and then not bring the vehicle to campus while still holding a decal for the assigned lot.

“It would be a very difficult task to try and ascertain the location of all of these decals, as many have been taken out by students that are studying abroad in the fall and will return in the spring.”

Colavolpe plans to have all of the residents out of the Hogan Road lot shortly. These students will have to be moved to the other lots off campus temporarily until other spaces open up in the Hilltop lot. His goal for next semester is to have all juniors with decals located in hilltop lot.

Colavolpe also has a waiting list of approximately 40 sophomores and four freshmen that do not have their cars here. As spaces open up, he systematically pulls students’ names from this list in numerical order.

As for the commuter population at the university, the story goes on year after year.. This year, the security office issued 3,200 commuter decals.

The process for commuter parking is rather simple. The North lot is the primary commuter lot. After the North lot fills up, the Hogan Road lot is opened for use by commuter students. Upon filling up Hogan lot early in the day, the university has been forced this year to open up the law school lawn for parking.

“The demand for parking is somewhat greater on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the class schedule tends to be heavier, forcing us to park students wherever we can, even on the lawn,” Covalope said.

“I do not see us getting away from using the lawn entirely but the numbers that use the lawn for parking have been dwindling each week.”

The average number of cars parked on the law school lawn ranges from 50 to 250 cars a day. With so many students being forced to park on the lawn, the question arises as to what happens when the weather turns wetter and the lawn becomes a swamp.

“As winter approaches, I hope that all residents will be out of the commuter lots, freeing-up those spaces to alleviate the strain on the lawn and have enough spaces on the asphalt. Unfortunately, we can not be certain of this and in the case that we have to utilize the lawn in bad weather, crushed stone can be put on the lawn, thereby creating a parking lot that can be plowed and picked -up come spring.”

Quinnipiac is trying its hardest to satisfy the needs of the students, especially the commuter population.

“Commuters need to allow themselves extra time to park and should observe the lot full signs,” Colavolpe added.

Dennis Kisyk, President of the Student Government Association, feels that the university is doing what they have to do.

“The situation is unfortunate, but I have confidence in the university to solve this problem,” Kisyk said. “Mark Antonucci, the Vice President of Student Concerns, has been working on this problem with the security office to come up with a workable solution.”

Senior physician assistant major, Jennifer Hsiao, feels the parking situation is ridiculous.

“I have to leave so early for school everyday and its just ridiculous how long it takes and impossible it is to find an available spot,” Hsiao said. “I do think that the parking situation will improve throughout the semester. We just need to be patient and give it time.”

Students are not the only ones with parking woes. Faculty and staff also have problems parking, as the lot near the faculty office building and in south lot fill up rather quickly. Faculty and staff are being forced to park in the College of Liberal Arts parking lot and walk.

The university is looking into alternative measures to solve their parking problems for the future.


About Amy Trapini