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Lot changes limit commuter parking

Parking continues to be a problem on campus, especially for commuters whose have fewer spaces due to construction.

Previously, students with Lot 6 parking decals were allowed to park in Lots 6, 6A and 6B. Resident students with Lot 9 decals were directed to park in Lot 9 and in the gravel lot between Lots 8 and 9, designated Lot 9A.

However, according to College officials, construction workers need a place for materials.

As a result, parking assignments changed again on Sept. 8.

Since then, no student vehicles are allowed to park in 9A, and resident students with Lot 6 decals are only permitted to park in Lots 6A and 6B. Lot 6 will now be designated as solely for commuters.

Designated commuter parking areas now include Lots 3, 4, 5 and 15 with overflow commuter parking in Lots 6, 6A, 6B and 18. Several spaces in Lots 4 and 5 have also been closed, and Lot 6 is “partially closed indefinitely” due to construction according to the College’s Web page.

With both resident and commuter students permitted to park in lots 6A and 6B, commuter parking is a big problem.

“It’s really crazy,” said Melissa Lutak, vice president of Recruitment and Retention for the Off-Campus Student Organization (OCSO), said.

OCSO is dissatisfied with the commuter parking shortage caused by campus construction, she said.

In the spring, OCSO completed a survey of 118 of the College’s approximately 3,400 commuters, which showed that parking is the students’ main concern.

According to Lutak, those concerns intensified during this construction period. She said that there were roughly 3,000 parking decals issued for the 1,500 parking spaces during the last academic year.

“Just the fact that there are less spots than students is a problem,” Lutak said.

Lots 5, 6, 6A and 6B are affected most by construction, and about 25 percent of the spots – mainly those adjacent to athletic fields – are closed.

According to Pete Mills, capital planning executive and president of the Trenton State Corporation, construction on a new parking deck is the main reason for the closure of parking lots.

The College is undergoing a complete renovation, Mills said.

According to the master plan, a new garage by Travers/Wolfe will open on schedule with space for 342 cars.

The new parking deck located near Travers and Wolfe is designed to offer more parking spaces to commuters, according to Lutak.

Yet, despite reports that the deck will be completed in December, Lutak is pessimistic because it appears that no work has been done on the deck during the summer.

Getting to class on time remains a major problem for commuters. Many leave their homes half an hour to an hour before their classes to find parking spaces, according to Lutak.

Inclement weather lengthens these commutes, increasing the difficulty of finding a parking spot. The hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. are the busiest on campus, adding to parking difficulties.

OCSO works on the parking problem year after year in hopes of improving the situation.

“We try to come up with more solutions to help (commuter) students,” Lutak said. According to Lutak, the members of OSCO may raffle off a parking space in the closest available lot to a commuter in the future.

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