November 22, 2013
Students express concern regarding parkingThis school year marks the first that 18th Street Commons is fully open. More than 300 students, composed mainly of juniors and seniors, are living in the newly renovated development. One of the main issues raised among students is a situation involving the 18th Street Commons parking lot.
The Commons has 177 student parking spaces, 8 handicapped parking spaces, 2 'reserved' spaces and 1 'visitor' space, as counted and reported by senior Anne Wolfe.
There are not enough spaces for every student to park in the development, and therefore, at certain points, students need to park elsewhere in their zone.
Originally, as said by Tom Rambo, assistant vice president for student life and director of Public Safety, 18th Street Commons was a development called Pine Meadows, where families were permitted to have one car per apartment.
Students living in the Commons may choose to park outside their apartment. If not, they can park in other spaces within their zone, which include the admissions building parking lot and North parking lot. As this is the first year the Commons has opened up all units, the students living there have voiced their opinion on this issue.
Some, such as senior Dylan Furlano, see the parking situation as a problem. Furlano said she believes this arrangement seems like poor planning. She went on to say that on some days she is able to claim a spot and sometimes she is not. This unknown variable, she said, causes her to worry about her timing coming and going between classes and her apartment.
To others, like senior Deb Gravina and junior Abby Johnson, the parking situation is not as big of an issue. Gravina said that the parking is not the most convenient, but it is definitely not as bad as at other schools.
She added that the opinion on this matter depends upon one's location in 18th Street. Students living farther into the development may have more of an issue walking than students closer to the parking zones.
Johnson said that she does not mind the parking situation.
"I'm not one to get worked up about it," she said. "For me, it's been a month of school, and I've only had to park elsewhere once. 18th Street is such high living, I think it's a small price to pay."
Jose Sanchez, assistant director of residence life for community development, said that the parking situation all depends on one's personal perception. If compared it to the walk the first-years have from their parking spots to their residence halls, he said, the walk the upperclassman have to take for 18th Street Commons is not as terrible.
After corresponding with the head residents of 18th Street Commons, he received feedback saying that, to them, the walk is not far and nothing new.
Rambo said that it is too early to tell if anything will be changed regarding the parking matter.
"We are monitoring how this works for now, and we are happy to adjust," he said.
However, he added that adjustments, if any, will come later, as it is too soon right now. He does not know if there is a solution at this point, but 18th Street will continue to be monitored.
Sanchez also said that Susquehanna strives to keep up with parking needs, but it is unknown how many cars will come each year. There is room for all cars in the 18th Street Commons parking zones, he said. However, as seen by the parking space count by Wolfe, not all students can park in the development itself.
Furlano said she'd like to see a solution to what she views as a problem in parking. However, she would want to see spaces redirected instead of paving over green land. Gravina echoed this view and said she didn't know where parking could be added.
Johnson said: "I think if the school was to take action, it would be perceived as a bigger problem. A little exercise is good for us anyway."