New spaces hoped to alleviate parking problems

Students returning to campus for the spring semester may have noticed more parking spaces in the lot next to North Campus Residence Hall. The university added 52 new spots to this lot, known as lot D, to help lessen parking issues on campus. 

“There was a parking challenge,” said Matt Clement, grounds supervisor for the university. “We knew there was a shortage. That was the next logical spot.” 

The lot is made of crushed gravel and recycled asphalt, which allows it to be used in wet weather as well.

University officials hope these new spaces will have a domino effect with the rest of the lots on campus. 

Steve Melaragno, director of public safety, oversees all the parking on campus. He says that with 52 new spaces in Lot D, which is for law students, staff and faculty, less law students will park in lot C. 

Lot C is located next to Bayside residence halls, providing parking for commuters, graduate and law students.

“So that should provide more spaces for commuters,” said Melaragno. “Those 52 spaces should get us to where we need to be.”

Melaragno said the long-term goal is to pave the extension and make it bigger. The reason the university did not pave it at first was because they wanted to get it done quickly and paving is a costly project. According to him, crushed gravel and recycled asphalt is “a cheaper alternative to putting in drainage and paving.”  

He said another issue with campus parking is people not parking in the right lots. 

“If everybody played by the rules, we would have enough,” Melaragno said. “Our goal is not to write a lot of tickets. Our goal is to get everyone to comply.” 

As mentioned in a previous article for The Hawks’ Herald, Melaragno again brought up the issue of Almeida and Baypoint residents who drive to campus instead of taking the shuttle.

“If we could get the students at Baypoint and Almeida to take the shuttle, that would also provide [spaces].” 

Senior Amelia DeMelo thinks the additional spots will definitely help, but said more parking as a whole is needed.

“Parking has been challenging… people aren’t finding spots and parking where they shouldn’t, which then causes people not to get out of their spots when they are leaving for the day,” DeMelo said. 

DeMelo is a commuter and acts as president of the Commuters in Action club. As president, she listens to other commuters’ complaints and works with the university to figure out solutions.

“I think this will help the law students and help the overflow from Lot D going to C,” she said. “But 52 [spots] isn’t a whole lot.”

“I know Steve [Melaragno] has some good plans. It’s just a matter of money, time and space,” DeMelo said. “I’d love to see a new garage.”