Parking spaces “maxed out”

“I got 99 problems and 82 of them are the parking spaces that you cannot find on campus.” This popular online Facebook club portrays the frustrations that nearly 200 Eastern students share about the parking situation at the university.

Currently, McInnis parking lot offers the largest area of parking for students.

Kea-Guffin, Hainer, Doane, and North Campus Hall also offer parking near the residences for students.

The problem with the campus parking situation can be attributed to the growth of the campus and student body.

Director of Security, Jack Sheehan, said one of the problems is that that too many students have cars. The cost of 120 dollars per permit has not limited the amount of students who apply for a yearly permit.

“Ten years ago, there was one car to every three students. Now, there is one car to every two students,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan described the campus as being “maxed out.”

“Even though we have tried to restrict the number of cars on campus, we are still at maximum capacity, and it is like trying to put ten pounds of something into a five pound bucket,” Sheehan said.

Students with permits who are allowed to park on campus sometimes find themselves without adequate parking. According to Sheehan, in this situation students are instructed to call security in order for them to find a temporary illegal parking spot.

This process, however, has not always worked in the past.

“One time I had to call and wait for security to come and help me find an illegal spot, and I ended up getting a ticket anyway. I am very frustrated with the parking situation,” sophomore Lori Scannapieco said.

Students are also allowed to park their cars at the Valley Forge parking lot. The lot is within ten minutes walking distance of the campus.

Currently, there are 50 first-year students who have a Valley Forge pass, according to Sheehan. Altogether, there are roughly 100 undergraduate students at the parking lot.

On weekends, students are permitted to move their cars from Valley Forge and park them on campus. Once the week begins, their cars must stay at Valley Forge.

First-year student Jeff Loesser voiced his displeasure with having to park off campus at Valley Forge for several reasons as well.

“I don’t like parking at night because you have to walk back in the dark in the woods. And when I have parked on campus to avoid this problem, I have already gotten two tickets,” Loesser said.

There are other problems with the Valley Forge lot. “Having to walk back in the rain is also a problem,” said first-year Typhany McNeill.

On the other hand, first-year student Kelsey Kenny has found no problem in parking at Valley Forge. She stated that it actually has been very beneficial while she has been at Eastern.

“Although it’s a long walk, it’s better than not having a car at all. I prefer parking there because it makes me not want to drive around all the time,” Kenny said.

As far as the availability at Valley Forge, both McNeill and Kenny have said that there always seem to be plenty of spots for students.

Sheehan confirmed that Security never overbooks the Valley Forge parking spots.

“There are plenty of spots at Valley Forge for the students,” said Sheehan.

Many students who were not granted a parking permit also expressed their desire for more parking so they can have a car on campus.

“There should definitely be more parking on campus so that it can open up parking for more freshmen,” said first-year student Emily Hutchison.

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