Those UR students in search of parking permits may be relieved to learn that extra parking spaces will soon be available. Construction began Monday, Sept. 16 on a new parking lot south of Park Lot that will contain 52 new spaces.
Director of Parking Services Glen Sicard explained that the new spaces are being added to replace those lost when Wilson Boulevard was re-opened. “The idea of the lot is to replace spots lost along Wilson Boulevard from this past summer’s construction,” he said. “We planned the expansion when we knew students would lose those spaces.”
The spaces on Wilson Boulevard never actually belonged to UR, but were used as part of a short-term agreement with the city of Rochester. “We’re just replacing what we were borrowing from the city,” Assistant Supervisor of Parking Services Nancy Dailey said.
The new lot will start at the south end of Park Lot, which is located by the Graduate Living Center, and extend toward the Erie Canal. Lighting and blue light security phones will be installed upon its completion.
The new spaces will be assigned primarily to residential students who already have parking spaces, leaving Park Lot for commuter students.
Currently, Park Lot, which is intended to be a commuter lot, is filled past capacity because it is used by residential students who have been crowded out of other lots.
Dailey also said that residential students with Park Lot passes or spaces in lots farther from campus will be given priority when the new spaces are assigned. “If we have people in lots further away who want to move, we’ll move them first,” she said.
Dailey said that she is unsure of whether there will be a demand for moving from far lots to the new spaces because there will not be bus service to and from the new lot.
Parking expansion is something most students with cars see as a necessity.
Senior Amanda Liepke is skeptical, however. “I think the parking here is atrocious and any addition will be an improvement, but 52 spaces won’t be enough to make a difference,” she said.
Senior Michele Glatter agrees that the parking lost along Wilson Blvd. this summer needs to be replaced, but said she thinks it would be more beneficial to have lots closer to the dorms. “They need to expand parking lots closer to the residential areas on campus to alleviate the problem of students parking illegally.”
Glatter said she has seen students park in fire lanes and drive over curbs to get into lots. “Wilson Blvd. has become more dangerous since the parking spots were lost because people park there regardless, leaving only one lane for traffic to use.”
The project should be completed by Meliora Weekend in October.
Students may apply for a parking spot at any time and will be put on a waiting list until a spot becomes available.
Additional reporting by Karen Taylor.
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