Flames of the Torch

Parking at St. John’s this year has been rather appalling. Last semester, commuters lost the parking lot by Gate 1 due to the construction of the new townhouses. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now a large portion of the parking by Gate 4 has disappeared.
This has left commuter students wondering what new construction project the University has signed on for, how long it will take, and whether the loss of parking spaces will be permanent.

As a result of the steadily shrinking parking lots, many students are forced to leave up to an hour before their classes just to find suitable parking. Often, these students are left with few options, such as fighting for spaces on the top level of the parking complex or even going off campus.

This problem was limited to a few peak hours during the morning at first. Now, it has escalated, so that the lots are remaining overcrowded even into the afternoon. It does not matter whether you have early or late classes anymore, there just are not enough spots to go around.

Some frustrated students have given up on the endless circling of packed lots, and simply pull into the first opening they come across, whether or not it is a legal space.

This can lead to hefty fines or even having your car towed if the only space available happens to be in the faculty lot or in a no-parking zone off campus.

However, the students should not be faulted for doing so. There have been no e-mails or any sort of notification about the sudden loss of parking near Gate 4.

Students were confronted with the latest lot closing without any prior warning.

Every week, mass e-mails announce to students that “There’s Plenty to Do on Campus,” so why not notify students of the parking issues?

In fact, the construction there is being done in order to install a new sewage pipe, according to public safety. This is good news for commuters, since the pipeline will only be a temporary inconvenience.

Once construction is completed, the spots by Gate 4 will eventually be reopened, assuming that another construction project is not planned for the site.

Nonetheless, the University must have known about the need for sewage piping months in advance, as a company needed to be hired for the job, materials needed to be purchased, and plans had to be made.

Commuter students are dependent on these spaces. With prior knowledge, St John’s could have sent a warning months, weeks, or at least days in advance.

St John’s should keep students notified about construction, since it affects them the most. The loss of parking is a major inconvenience for commuters, leading many to just park on the streets around campus.
Commuter students pay 100 dollars for parking passes, and residents pay a whopping 500 dollars. It is only reasonable that these students should have enough parking set aside for them.

Instead, students are forced to compete every morning for the insufficient number of spots.

For those who are affected by the construction, there is really nothing that can be done. It is up to the University to do something, whether it is a simple notification by e-mail, or at least waiting for one project to be finished before jumping to the next.