Threat of snow heightens parking concerns

By on November 9, 2005

It is inevitable. New Englanders should expect snow each winter.

Normally snow does not pose a very big problem to students, especially storms big enough to cancel classes. But for commuters, snow is just another inconvenience. Besides having to get to school early enough to try to find a spot in North Lot, the snow takes up parking spots as well, making the challenge even harder.

“If we have to, in the past we have put gravel on the grass in the law school and had it plowed when it snows,” Ron Colavolpe, Assistant Chief for Parking and Transportation, said. “We’ve gone to that extreme before, and although we’re hoping it doesn’t come down to that, we will do it.”

Quinnipiac has two parking lots specifically for commuters, North Lot and Hogan Road Lot. There are 1,066 parking spots between these two lots, but because of the growing class sizes and the additional underclassmen living off campus this year, these two parking lots have not been sufficient. Security allows commuters to park in the 92 spaces in Hartwood Gate, the visitor lot when Hogan and North lots are full, and also directs students to spaces on the lawn of the law school when everything else is full.

“Tuesday and Thursday are the heaviest days for students commuting to class,” Colavolpe said. “There are usually over a hundred cars on the law school lawn on Thursdays, and slightly less on Tuesdays, but it really depends on the day.”

Parking is not a new concern on campus, but each year it is becoming more of a problem because of the increasing number of students on campus each year. Because of the growing numbers, security allows students to park in South Lot and the College of Liberal Arts parking lot Monday through Friday after 4 p.m. Many students wonder if another parking lot will be built, or if there will be space to park on the new campus on Sherman Avenue.

“I think that the university needs to work harder to fight to be able to build some sort of parking structure in north lot,” said Lauren Mastrobuoni, a senior Health Science major. “Even to build just one level of parking above the current lot would be a huge help, and since the lot is lower than the road, it would still go with the aesthetic that the school is going for and not look like a high rise parking garage.”

When the new athletic facility is built on Sherman Avenue, there will be a large parking lot there. Some think that it would be a good idea for students to park there, but shuttling students back and forth could turn into a problem, making students late for class.

“I don’t really think parking at the new campus would work out,” Colavolpe said. “It would mess up students schedules and make them late [because they would have to drive to North Lot, then Hogan, and finally to the new lot, taking up a lot of time].”

In the past, there have been less students commuting second semester because many finish classes in December and graduate early. Security is hoping the trend continues, but has plans in case more spaces still need to be made when the snow comes. Gravel has only been used on the law school lawn once, but if worst comes to worst, security will do what needs to be done to ensure students there are enough parking spots.

“Most of my classes are on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons so I have to park on the lawn of the law school,” Kelly Baccash, senior Media Productions major said. “This is not a big deal for now, but how about after our first snow storm? Should I bring a shovel with me to clear a path? And if you do try to park in North Lot… forget about it! It’s like Christmas shopping at the mall – cars following people around the parking lot, trying to get their spot! I don’t know what Quinnipiac plans on doing about this, but one can only hope that solutions are being discussed.”


About Bethany Dionne