On-campus parking is atrocious

Parking on a college campus is a great privilege. On many college campuses, it is often restricted to just juniors and seniors, or those deemed necessary to needing a vehicle. On other campuses, parking costs are horrendous, often ranging from 50 to hundreds of dollars or more just for a parking pass. Fortunately, at Mercyhurst, we have the luxury of just being required to be a sophomore or older to obtain a regular parking pass for absolutely no charge.

Not having to pay for parking is a wonderful thing, but it also comes with a price in itself. The parking facilities on the Mercyhurst campus are in deplorable condition. A number of the parking garages in the upperclassman area of Briggs and Lewis are unusable due to their condemned state. The main parking garage on East Main Drive next to the Duval Apartments is not much better. The garage’s stairs are rotted throughout, with gaping holes in the concrete and metal shards sticking every which way. The only solution to this that appeared to be offered so far is some yellow caution tape, which was not heeded by students using the garage. The garage’s concrete deck with its many cracks is also quite questionable. Also not to mention the occasional flooding from heavy rains due to clogged or poor functioning storm drains.

The parking garages are not the only concern. The state of the regular, ground-level parking lots are also quite questionable. Many of these lots have numerous potholes or chipped asphalt. This is not only damaging to the vehicles of everyday campus goers, but it is not as welcoming to those coming to visit our beautiful school. Fortunately, the McAuley lot was patched during the summer, but is still a pretty rough go.

As a result of forcing various parking garages or lots to close due to their poor conditions, the number of available parking spots has dwindled significantly and finding one of those spots on campus has become a nightmare in itself. Students and even some faculty and staff are forced to drive around a lot multiple times just to have hope in finding a parking spot. Many times we are forced to park in a lot all the way on the other side of campus, even when those lots may be filled to capacity as well. Parking on the street is also an option, but this is not the safest idea, both for ourselves and our vehicles, due to traffic and other factors.

Now, I am not asking to park on a golden throne. I am just asking for the administration and those atop the maintenance department to please reconsider. I understand that even on a small campus like ours, there are many things requiring your attention, but please consider funding some sort of parking makeover plan to get the garages and lots back up to par. It will be much safer for everyone involved, including faculty, staff, and students alike.