Parking problems persist

As Eastern Michigan University welcomes a record number of new students to the 2013-14 school year, concerns over the amount of available parking are once again raised.

The hustle and bustle of the fall semester is in full swing here on EMU’s campus as returning students and newcomers alike are getting accustomed to a new semester of courses, buildings and professors. But the increased number of commuter and resident vehicles on campus brings an added challenge of finding a parking space in time to make it to classes.

The majority of students are taking courses between Monday and Thursday, with a few courses on Fridays and weekends. Driving around campus on any given weekday, commuters are met with multiple signs warning parking lots are full and long lines for no spaces in the parking garages. The frustration of parking is shared by all students and grows steadily throughout each morning until eventually tapering off in afternoon.

“My first day on campus I cried because I couldn’t find a place to park anywhere and had to miss my first class and have my mom bring me back to school,” Kelly Briengs, a freshman from Livonia, said. “Now I have to come to school at 7 in the morning if I want a space, even though my first class isn’t until after 10.”

Sophomore Derek Jeysinsk also has issues with parking.

“It seems like I have the hardest time finding a space for my Wednesday classes,” Jeysinsk said. “I’ve actually had my girlfriend dropping me off now on her way to work instead of even chancing it.”

Commuters aren’t the only students feeling the parking pinch. Residents are finding the designated spaces on the Huron River Drive side of campus, which are reserved for campus residents with hangtags only, full to the brim by 10 a.m. Many of the residents living in the apartments are not only students but also parents who are concerned about the inability to bring a vehicle in case of an emergency.

The parking division in charge of enforcing the parking policies seems overwhelmed with so much area to cover, and it struggles to quell the massive crowds of on-campus vehicles. An excellent example is a typical Monday morning in the resident-only parking lot when three consecutive vehicles park without hangtags directly under the parking policy signs.

Though carpooling may at first seem like a bit of a pain, the consequences of a missed class due to lack of a parking space seem far worse in comparison. One suggestion that a group on campus may consider for the future would be the use of an online carpool social page where commuting students could locate other EMU drivers from their area to combine forces.

Perhaps a carpool incentive could be implemented, but for the moment, the incentive is less headache and no more missed courses. In addition, carpooling can save all commuting students a little on gas and help with the “green” campus environment that many people encourage.

For new students that are unaware of the current parking policies for campus, the full details of policy can be found online at Violations for parking can lead to multiple and costly tickets, so it is important that each student be aware of the policies in place for the comfort and safety of all students and faculty.

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