Parking sign. Photo from Wikipedia.
By Kayla Lupoli-Nolan
Parking on Stony Brook campus has been an issue for quite some time now. Commuters are often stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes down to it. If you are not stuck paying for the ridiculous parking pass that puts you on a waitlist, you are stuck parking in the furthest lot on campus. For the school that goes ‘Far Beyond,’ it seems to have forgotten about the students that do not live on campus or complain about the new food system.
There are only two commuter lots on campus, one is shared with the Long Island Railroad that is located all the way by the baseball fields, while the other is South P, located off of Stony Brook Road. The lot that is next to the train station is often packed by 9:00 am, and is a far walk for most students. Plus, it seems that a decent amount of regular commuters who do not attend the university park in that lot.
Having such a small lot only causes more problems than it solves. And while South P does have enough room for the commuters, it certainly is not the best lot around. During both semesters there are little kids playing soccer in the field directly next to the lot, causing parents to park on the side and block a part of the aisle that students drive down. It is also pretty obvious that no college student wants to be responsible for hitting a kid that ran out into the road.
When parking, most of the time you have to leave early just so you can look for a spot, walk to the shuttle station and then take the 10 minute shuttle ride to campus which still makes stops along the way. This can make someone who only lives 15 minutes away, to leave their home at least an hour beforehand just to get to campus with a few minutes to spare. The Express Shuttle from South P, the thing of nightmares.
Whether you are going to or leaving the lot, you have to wait. And don’t even try catching the shuttle at rush hour in the afternoon. Students get stuck waiting in line for three or four shuttles before finally getting on one only to find out they have to stand in the aisle for the whole ride there. This is dangerous for everyone on campus because the bus is more likely to tip over now that it is jampacked with students.
Parking on campus gets even more ridiculous when you have to pay per hour. College students are often working or doing unpaid internships and cannot afford to pay $2-$3 an hour for nine hours. Even if students go ahead and purchase the Stadium parking permit, it is $225 and you have to be put on a waiting list to even get approved for it. You are more likely to get a parking ticket than you are to get approved from the waiting list. That just does not seem logical for a university where a good majority commutes.
There is a simple solution to this. Make more on campus parking accessible to commuters. The commuter lot that is next to the railroad station is small, and South P is like the seventh ring of Dante’s Inferno. Adding even one extra lot to the main part of campus would help out a large amount of unhappy students. With more and more students deciding to commute instead of dorm on campus, the administration needs to stop putting commuters on the bottom of the to-do list when figuring out what can be fixed on campus.