The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Some faculty, staff face parking issues despite new deck 

Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Although the new Markle Parking Deck has been open for use for over a month now, some faculty and staff are still experiencing parking difficulties.

Although the college increased its parking capacity with the construction of the new Markle parking deck, many staff and faculty members say that they are still facing parking issues. This has sparked much frustration, especially for professors in buildings that do not have parking spots close by. 

“As soon as they cut the ribbon on Markle, it was ironically harder to find parking on campus,” associate professor of languages & literary studies Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci said. “It’s problematic. I live half a mile away; all I need to do is plan accordingly with a bike or walk. But for other people, it’s more difficult.”

While the new deck has helped professors in nearby buildings such as Acopian Engineering Center and Rockwell Integrated Science Center, other faculty members have been facing persistent parking problems over the years. 

“I have heard more about these issues happening during the last couple of years. I suppose the current construction on campus has affected the parking situation, but I was expecting most of these issues to have been resolved after the opening of the new Markle Parking Deck,” associate professor of economics Joaquin Gomez-Minambres said. “I guess I was wrong.”

Faculty and staff are assigned a parking location by Public Safety when they register their vehicle. The assignments are based on proximity to their work location and space availability at that location. Faculty and staff are issued one hang tag, regardless of the number of vehicles registered, to be displayed from the rearview mirror.

They are instructed to park in their assigned parking location Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, due to the limited space available, a common complaint for many professors is that assigned parking spaces are often taken by others. 

“I am pretty much never able to park in my assigned lot. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went there and it wasn’t entirely full, well before 9 am,” associate professor of government and law Michael Feola wrote in an email.

Public Safety Operations manager Sandra Rogers wrote in an email that there is a procedure for such instances.

“If they arrive at their assigned parking lot/location and there are no spaces available, they should park in Markle Deck and notify Public Safety by calling our non-emergency number (610) 330-5330 so that we can dispatch an officer to check the parking lot or location and issue any necessary tickets,” Rogers wrote.

Public Safety works to address parking complaints made in person and via calls to their communication center around the clock. In some instances, vehicles may need to be moved if there are special events or if they are parked illegally — for example, if they’re blocking fire lanes.

Although there is technically an adequate amount of parking spots for faculty and staff throughout campus, the issue of proximity to their respective buildings still persists. 

“The college’s parking supply meets the demand for parking but on occasion, individuals may want to park closer to their destination for many reasons,” Rogers wrote. “This effect tends to cause a chain reaction that may not allow individuals to find a space to park in their assigned parking lot or location.” 

This has been frustrating for professors.

“Since I don’t have mobility issues, it’s been more an irritant than anything else. I do wonder, however, about how the lack of parking affects other members of the campus community who might have mobility issues. Having to walk extra distances might well be a genuine hardship for some,” Feola wrote.

A way to address the parking issue could be tighter enforcement of long-term parking, particularly in the limited spaces close to buildings. 

“In terms of solutions, I would say that perhaps we should not allow long-term parking on campus,” Gomez said. “There is a decent number of spaces in the Bushkill parking lot, so people who use the car infrequently should consider leaving the car there.”

Despite the college having made an effort to combat the lack of parking space availability on campus, calls for change persist. 

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About the Contributors
Onab Falak
Onab Falak, Staff News Writer
Onab is a junior from Alexandria, Virginia that is currently double majoring in Government and Law and International Affairs. Her minor will be a surprise to everyone, even herself. She can be very indecisive (but the good kind). Besides being a staff writer for the newspaper, she is a member of Student Government, a Posse Scholar, McKelvy Scholar and coordinator for Kaleidoscope! In her spare moments, she’s usually journaling in the McKelvy gardens or reading books in the study in between passionate arguments with her peers. When she’s not at home, she can be found running around campus regretting how many activities she decided to be involved in or at Mojos drinking her daily iced coffee. 
Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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