More parking, more money

Even though you may have to circle the lot a few times, parking at Brock this year isn’t making people dizzy. There have been changes made to the landscape of Brock’s paved paradise. While cash entry to Lot A was an option open to drivers in past years, it is now restricted to parking permit holders only. General permits this year no longer cover access to parking in Lot B1. Lot B1 is now a cash only lot between the hours of 5am and 4pm and costs $3 each time you swing through the gates.

That’s a 50-cent increase from last year, and second-year theatre major Kristan Miller doesn’t see any benefit in parking there.

“Now it’s just too much to park there on a daily basis and you’re pretty much the same distance to the school as free parking, it’s just not worth it.”

As far as free parking goes, Brock is the only university in Canada to offer so many free parking spots to students and faculty. In fact close to 300 additional free parking spaces located east of Lot T have been added on. These spaces have been created in place of Lot R which has been converted to permit parking only.

However you’ve probably seen the ominous signs around campus reading “Parking permits sold out.” Don’t despair, says John Zoccoli, director of finance for Brock University. Instead, get on the waiting list for the $115 permits.

“The whole reason why we’ve got the waiting list at this point is that it’s very difficult to tell how many permits one can hand out there because it depends on the turnover and how often people are here, are they staying all day, are they coming and going.”

Zoccoli says that about 15 to 20 people a day on the waiting lists are getting their permits.

Close to 300 spaces surrounding residences have also been freed up now that construction at Brock nears completion.

Zoccoli says there are no new plans to expand parking at Brock. However he knows the campus development plan will address parking. He suspects recommendations may include several things from realigning traffic flow to increasing parking in various areas.

“Right now we’re on hold but obviously in the back of our minds playing is that in 2003 with the coming of the double cohort that we will have to address more inventory of parking spaces.”

Do students have a voice in parking on campus? Duncan Small, BUSU president, explains that there is one student representative who sits on the parking and traffic advisory committee emphasis on the advisory.

“Our role is to bring any complaints, suggestions, students have about parking to the committee, we do our best to represent our students but we can only do so much in our capacity.” Small encourages students to approach BUSU with any problems they might face in this area.

While it might be hard for those heading up and down the hill each day to imagine life at Brock without their cars, there exist alternative modes of transportation for Brock students.

Walking and biking sounds fine now but after the first snow fall you’ll most likely end up taking the bus. Working a bus pass into tuition fees like other universities have isn’t in the foreseeable future for Brock students, Small says.

“It’s something we can investigate this year. However, it’s highly unlikely anything will come of it,” he said. “The problem is, decisions like these would require a student referendum and it would be difficult getting everyone to agree to pay so much for a service not used by everyone.”

However, Small wants students to be aware of a less conventional option for students driving in from outside of St. Catharines. Carpool.ca is a web site which serves to link Brock-bound students and staff. Car pool parking spots are available at Brock for those affiliated with the service.

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