This Parking Situation is Driving Us Crazy

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Published December 4, 2019
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The Montclarion
Danielle DeRosa | The Montclarion

There is one commonality among all individuals who walk the Montclair State University campus. Whether you are a student, professor, staff member or just visiting, many agree that parking on campus is a major headache.

Complaints range from where you can or cannot park, traffic, price and to a multitude of other issues, but perhaps the most concerning parking issue is that there is not much that can be done to solve these problems.

Currently, combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment reaches a total surpassing 21,000 students. Only 30% of those enrolled live in on campus housing, which leaves the other 14,700 students commuting multiple times each week.

For a campus welcoming thousands of automobiles every day, there are just three entrances and only two exits. This causes traffic issues daily, especially every time class is dismissed.

On the other hand, there has been talk to open Yogi Berra Drive as a two-way street, creating a third exit out of campus and lessening the constant backup outside Car Parc Diem. However, progress on this motion has yet to be confirmed.

Despite the problems faced by commuters just getting onto campus, finding a place to put their car is even more strenuous.

Large spaces like Lot 60, Car Parc Diem, New Jersey Transit and the Red Hawk Deck would lead most to believe that finding a parking spot would not be that difficult, yet most commuters struggle with it every day.

The majority of commuter parking availability is found in these high traffic locations on campus, with cars coming in and out in multiple directions and flocks of pedestrians crossing every minute.

Although a majority of these problems are inevitable, the university is not the only cause for the parking pains on campus. The driving etiquette practiced by many individuals with a motor vehicle on campus is nothing to promote.

Too often, cars speed through garages, ignoring stop signs and speed limits. Drivers are negligent when passing through areas of high foot traffic and do not stop for pedestrians.

It is understood that commuting is stressful and the structure of campus is certainly not doing anyone any favors, but the one thing you have complete control over is your own awareness and consideration.

Creating another exit out of campus and adding speedometers in parking garages and busy areas would be helpful.

Students need to be aware of their actions as it has caused a lot of damage in the past, including one of the exit tolls in Red Hawk Deck which was damaged earlier this semester. This caused more traffic headaches and backups. These problems cannot be solved if students continue to perpetuate these damages instead of helping to prevent them.

By having more speedometers around campus, it may make students become more cautious of their campus driving habits.

Granted, parking services may be overly stringent with the overuse of $50 parking fines, and towing someone’s car for leaving it parked in the wrong spot may be unnecessary, but the problems that students are complaining about are simply problems created by students.

The university’s parking regulations and their diligent implementation is something often complained about by students. Many students believe the parking regulations should be loosened and that one mistake shouldn’t cost $50, but these are mistakes that constantly happen. However, repetitive mistakes can be avoided by opening up more opportunities for painless parking.

Montclair State is a commuter school. It is the administration’s responsibility to accommodate that characteristic of campus life, but it is the responsibility of the students to drive and park with accountability, and not make that accommodation more difficult than it already is.

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