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Addressing the O’Shea parking controversy

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By: Sarah Rance

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Parking has been an ongoing issue for college campuses across the country. It is a never-ending battle over the best parking spaces in the best parking lots. The O’Shea parking lot here at Niagara is not any different. This semester, when commuters went to register their vehicles with Campus Safety, they were told something they found particularly irritating: no commuters are permitted to park in the O’Shea lot.

As a resident, I couldn’t help but notice the O’Shea lot has been overflowing with cars for years. Despite the colored lines meant to dictate who parks where, commuters parked in resident-reserved sections all the time, making things more difficult for residents and commuters alike. While it is understandable that parking has been restricted in this lot, the restriction should have been placed on the residents, not the commuters.

This change has impacted commuters greatly, as they now have to park in lots that are further away. Though there are spaces reserved for commuters in lots closer to campus, the odds of finding a space in these lots are slim. Therefore, those who are not lucky enough to get one of these spots are forced to park in Dwyer or the Power Authority’s B-2 lot, both of which are further from everywhere on campus. This walk adds to commuters’ overall time it takes for them to get to class.

It seems to me that it is residents who should have to walk further to get to their vehicles. When commuters arrive at campus, it is with the intention of getting to class. Residents, on the other hand, are already on campus and can walk to class without needing to worry about finding a parking spot or walking too long of a distance. It would make way more sense to have residents park in further lots than it would be to make commuters park there. Commuters already have to account for the time it takes to drive to campus. That being said, they should not have to add more time to their commute by struggling to find a parking spot and then walking a far distance to get to their class.

No one wants to park far from the center of campus, but it is going to happen regardless. Therefore, the closest parking lots to campus should be occupied by commuters. It makes more sense than making them walk further to get to their classes.

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