Parking in a tough spot

Amber Matha, Editor in chief

This year, students are reporting that they have trouble finding parking on campus. Students who register vehicles with the university receive parking pass stickers to be put on the rear windshield of their vehicles, determining where they can park.

“There are 1,529 parking spaces available at Mercyhurst University for parking pass holders. 1,369 are on campus,” DJ Fuhrmann, chief of Police and Safety, said.

Resident students are issued blue parking passes and commuters are issued orange ones. As of Sept. 8, 567 blue and 590 orange passes have been issued. This compares to 575 and 703 passes issued last year, respectively.

“The numbers show we are very close to last year on resident passes and slightly below for commuters,” said Fuhrmann. “As students continue to register vehicles and get passes, this year’s number will increase slightly over the next couple of weeks.”

Parking spaces were removed due to the construction of Ryan Hall. However, these spots are planned to be replaced.

“The construction footprint of Ryan Hall eliminated 69 parking spaces,” said Fuhrmann. “I have been told the plans call for a 118-space parking lot north and in front of Ryan Hall.”

Despite this improvement to parking on campus that will come in fall 2018, some students have other concerns, such as the lack of adequate handicapped parking.

“It defeats the purpose of handicapped parking when those of us that need it are often forced to park across campus and trek to class and end up in pain or sick by the time we get there,” said Annelise Baker, junior Intelligence Studies major.

These concerns will only increase as lots are temporarily closed for sporting event use and when it begins to snow. There has been discussion about how to solve problems faced by students who have to park on campus.

“We monitor the parking on campus daily,” said Fuhrmann. “There have been ongoing discussions about ways to improve parking and traffic flow on and around campus. Those discussions have included a fee for students who bring vehicles onto campus.”