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West of nowhere
Why Westwoods doesn't work
I never thought in my college experience, I would have to take a shuttle to get to my own car. It is more ideal to think that you could walk to a parking lot, such as North Lot, hop into your car and go.
Due to limited parking spaces on campus, Westwoods has become an entity of its own. You hop on the shuttle, make your way through the light on Whitney Avenue, up that steep hill into an abandoned lot filled with the cars of students who didn’t fill out their parking pass registrations quick enough.
I hate Westwoods. I hate going to Westwoods. My friends make fun of me when I have to go get my car from Westwoods and they just have to walk to Hilltop. I have to ask friends to drive me to my own car. Let me tell you, parking in Westwoods is not fun.
My question is, why can’t there be more parking on campus? Why do we even need an off- campus parking lot? I have traveled with friends who park in the Hogan lot, and for the most part that lot is abandoned. Why can’t we park there?
Also what about the safety of students? Last semester I had a job off campus where I would work night shifts. I would get back to Westwoods around 11 p.m. and have to wait for 10 to 20 minutes in the freezing cold for a shuttle to take me back to campus.
Now your question is, why don’t I just walk? First off, I would love to walk. I don’t mind walking since most college campuses are twice the size of Quinnipiac and this would be the average walk for a student attending a larger university. But this is different. This parking lot is off campus. I have to cross a busy street late at night to walk down Mount Carmel and then another 20 minutes back to my room in Troup. Not only is that exhausting, that is dangerous, especially considering the time of night I would get back from work.
Another thing that concerns me is my safety from others, especially with recent crimes in Hamden such as the poor Domino’s delivery man who was robbed near York Hill last semester and the woman who was pistol whipped and robbed in her own home a few weeks ago. I am absolutely terrified of walking alone on a street at night and being robbed. The risks are high, especially for me being a female college student completely alone.
It makes me wonder: what kind of planning went into Westwoods? Who thought of this awful idea? Why couldn’t the university work on having more parking on campus? Just makes me wonder if it is all about our safety and security, how come we are forced to be in these types of situations?
One time I was coming home from work and I waited 30 minutes for a shuttle. Eventually, I called Public Safety only to be told that I need to read the schedule and the shuttles weren’t running. I felt like it was my fault that I had to work and needed access to my car. Granted, Public Safety did give me a ride back to campus, but I felt like I was being scolded, like a child, because I asked for help.
The bottom line is not just me complaining about Westwoods – the bottom line is that students who do not get into Hilltop parking are forced to struggle to have access to their cars, especially when most students are independent and need to go off campus for a variety of reasons. I have been late to work plenty of times because of the Westwoods shuttles and it is hard to explain to my boss why I was late, considering I have my own car.
It’s annoying because the reason I wanted my car on campus was so I didn’t need to deal with the unreliable shuttle system that takes me to a limited amount of places. Now that I have Westwoods parking, I have a car and still have to deal with taking a shuttle to get there. It makes no sense at all.
It’s not fair and something needs to be done in order to accommodate students who need access to their cars. Westwoods just simply isn’t cutting it.