By Mark Cuminale
Students are in the midst of a battle at The College at Brockport. The struggle: territorial rights to some of the most coveted space on campus.
The problem is commuter student parking.
“It’s difficult to find a spot sometimes, especially during peak hours,” business administration major Nicholas Lafaro said. “I’ve noticed a lot of cars fighting [to find] parking spots. It’s frustrating but you do what you’ve got to do.”
Primetime for student parking starts around 10 a.m. and from that point, until roughly 2 p.m., the student lots are a battlefield. Wide-eyed student drivers circle around endlessly—hands clenched, lips pursed intently—roaming for an opening in a sea of cars, trucks and vans.
“Parking is at its worst around 11 a.m. or noon,” says sophomore Brianna Halladay. “It’s awful, especially when everyone is trying to get to class at the same time.”
For students like Lafaro and Halladay, who pay $124.60 for an annual parking permit, the thought that this fee does not guarantee them adequate parking seems counterintuitive.
“I was thinking to myself—how can they charge us all this money for parking if there’s not enough parking spots to go around?” says Lafaro in dismay. “It’s kind of difficult to understand. I find myself parking on Main Street in Brockport and walking sometimes.”
Parking and Transportation Services’ Senior Parking Enforcer David Sevor (known around campus as “Big Bird” due to his bright yellow parking enforcement jacket) sees things differently.
“There is plenty of parking but the problem is that [students] can’t find spaces close to where they’re going,” Sevor said. “The most overcrowded parking lots that we have right now are over by Hartwell.”
Though certain lots might not be ideal for all students, Sevor hopes that students will weigh their options when looking for an ample place to park their cars.
“We suggest that people be cognizant of lot D, which is over on Holly Street,” the Senior Parking Enforcer said.
Though Sevor admits that the Holley Street location might not be the clear choice for most students, with its 10 to 15 minutes walk to the most central areas on campus, he maintains that, “It’s better than driving around in circles and getting frustrated.”
With an icy-cold winter underway and more to come, lines that divide parking spaces can become obstructed from view by ice and snow. This has caused a problem already this semester. Students in parking lot D began parking in a makeshift third row, ostensibly blocking-in cars that were now parked in the middle section of an impromptu three tier parking situation.
Another parking obstacle that Sevor has identified is student residents that park in commuter designated zones.
“Residents have a tendency to park in lots that don’t match their permits’ designation, and therefore they obstruct commuters from parking,”Sevor said. “Our goal with ticketing is to free up some space for people with permits.”
The territorial battle over student parking has many similarities to that of a modern turf war—a fight for space with no end in sight.