PARKING: What Parking?
Published: Friday, September 23, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2011 11:09
William Paterson University students have prepared themselves for the academic challenges they will be facing this Fall semester, but commuters have an extra concern hanging over their heads: the difficulty of school parking.
For years, commuters have struggled with finding parking when they arrive to the university to date, nothing has been done to accommodate their needs.
Bahar Isteben, a senior, says she has to leave home almost two hours before her class starts to give her time to find a parking space.
"It's frustrating because sometimes I'll be driving around for up to an hour looking for a space," Isteben said, "It's a waste of time and a waste of gas. Sometimes I just feel like giving up and going home, but if that was the case I would fail all my courses."
The demand for parking continues to rise with each new school year and talks of a new parking garage have been in effect.
According to the Parking Garage Feasibility Study prepared this past April by Desman Associates, during the mid-dayperiod almost 95 percent of parking spaces on the main campus are occupied.
"Afternoon classes are the worst," said sophomore Rosmary Rodriguez. "I can never find parking and if I do it becomes a battle with another student as to who saw the spot first. After a while it becomes a game of luck."
It's encouraged that students do not park in faculty spaces; otherwise, they will receive tickets or be towed. The parking spaces in Hobart Hall are specifically for faculty only, yet students reportedly are constantly parking in those spaces. It's not that they do it to break university rules; rather it's because they have no other option.
Hobart is located a significant distance from some of the lots. Therefore, those who have classes in Hobart have to make time to find a space and additional time to walk to their class. This can become an annoying routine.
The Office of Commuter Services does its best to address student issues and provide assistance to commuters with special needs. They also oversee the university shuttle system and serves as a liaison to New Jersey Transit.
The new parking garage will make it easier for Commuter Services to assist students as well as reduce the number of tickets given by WPU Police.
The study estimates a total parking demand of 588 parking spaces by Fall 2013. With such a high demand, the need for a parking garage becomes more necessary.
The proposed project consists of a five-level facility with a 900-space parking deck in Lot 1 with contract and hourly parking. The project will take approximately 20 months to complete.
The parking garage will be financed through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, or another bonding agency, with a 25-year term.
A request for proposal was sent to Professional Geotechnical Services and a site visit was conducted on May 3. The project start date has yet to be released.
Some students have to accept that they will continue to struggle with the parking issues and will be graduated by the time the project is completed, yet many remain hopeful that relief is soon to come.