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Commuters hike further for parking

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Photo taken by Ava Mrozik

By: Ava Mrozik

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- After hearing from Campus Safety that commuters can no longer park in the O’Shea parking lot, there have been many opinions around campus. I, a commuter here at NU, went to the Campus safety building on Aug. 27 – the first day of classes – to receive my parking pass. I began to fill out the required form to receive a parking sticker along with a line of other commuters. The Campus Safety staff made sure that every student who was signing up for a parking sticker knew that commuters are no longer allowed to park in the O’Shea lot.

There were a few different reactions that I witnessed while hearing this new rule. Some students asked twice to make sure they heard correctly, other students simply replied with an “okay” and walked out. Since the first day of classes, many commuters have said that it’s difficult to find a parking spot anywhere near their destination.

Many of the students had to park in the Power Authority’s B-2 lot, which is located behind the O’Shea parking area. The Dwyer parking lot is another option for commuters; however, it is said to be almost always full and is a further walk. There are a few other options where commuters are allowed to park. For instance, the parking along University Dr. is open to commuters, visitors and faculty. Many students who get to school any time after 9:30 a.m. cannot find a parking spot anywhere near their class.

In previous school years, especially last year, the O’Shea lot was constantly overflowing with cars. It was so full at times that students would park in the faculty spots instead of parking in the B-2 lot, which is further back. I think the new rule for commuters not being able to park in the O’Shea lot is problematic, especially for the commuters who get to school around 10 a.m. or later because of how limited the parking spaces are. I would think that commuters should have first choice for parking because they’re coming to school for class and maybe to spend a little extra time on campus. The residents, on the other hand, use their cars much less frequently than commuters. In most cases, their car is parked in the same spot for days on end.

I think it would make more sense to have a full parking lot for only commuters that is close to campus whether that be the O’Shea lot or a completely new lot. As for the residents, they could still have a full lot to themselves so students can have more choices for parking. It can be stressful to arrive on campus and realize that there are no parking spots close enough to walk to class under 10 minutes.

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