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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMB Parking Wars

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Packed parking lots are a common occurrence on campus as early as 9 a.m. South Lot seen from Campus Center.

 

 

 

Students who plan on driving to campus should also plan on parking in the Bayside Lot for the next three to five years. The construction of General Academic Building No. 1, set to begin in mid-2012, will eliminate the 345 parking spaces in the North Lot. Further construction of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute continues to reduce the spaces available in Lot A. The Bayside Lot will be open full time in the summer of 2012, providing 1,300 parking spaces.

The full-time availability of the Bayside Lot’s 1,300 spaces will increase the university parking capacity by 955 spaces after the loss of the North Lot’s 345 spaces. The university will become more and more dependent on this reservoir of spaces as construction continues.

The Parking and Transportation Technical Advisory (PTTA) subcommittee is considering multiple possible solutions to the parking problem, including expansion of the carpooling program by designating more spaces as carpool-only, making the campus more bicycle friendly, making public transportation cheaper through increased subsidization of the T-pass program, and increasing the parking fee to drive down the number of motorists.

The PTTA is still considering the feasibility of implementing those solutions. They hosted forums, the last of which was held on Dec. 9, inviting students, faculty and staff to participate in the parking discussion, offer solutions, and explore the operational and financial realities of transportation management. Nothing is certain other than the full-time operation of the Bayside Lot.

Diane D’Arrigo, assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, is a member of the PTTA subcommittee. D’Arrigo recognized that for students used to parking close to class, parking in Bayside would “take getting used to.” “There will have to be a shift in culture,” she said. “We went through the same thing when we closed the lots underneath Wheatley. People were not used to having to go outside, and there was an adjustment period.”

Before the Bayside Lot opens it will be outfitted with street lamps, an emergency call box, a bus stop that protects against inclement weather and automated gates. A shuttle bus will also run daily from the lot to the Campus Center.

Ernst Joachim, a biochemistry major, thinks that parking is already at a premium, and that “the Bayside Lot needs to open up.” Laura Benitez, an exercise and health sciences major, agreed. She said, “I get to campus at 8 a.m. to find parking; my class doesn’t start until 10 a.m.”

Other students are not so excited about having to park half a mile away from campus, like Jonathan Howe who thinks “if students are paying $6 to park, then the parking should be convenient.”

The steady increase of motorists parking on campus over the last four years has exacerbated the parking problem. Currently, 60 percent of commuters arrive on campus by car, an 8 percent increase from 2006.

The PTTA subcommittee did a survey of transportation services at Boston area colleges and universities.

Steve Martinson, director of the Office of Parking and Transportation, considers UMB parking woes commonplace based on the findings of the survey. “You will find this at any university,” he said. “We do our best to be efficient and accommodating. We will always have to compromise.”