There will be free parking on campus in Zone 1 and Zone 2 during the Spring and Summer months, as well as after 6p.m. and on weekend during the Fall and Winter academic terms.
“Improving accessibility to campus, supporting the spring/summer course calendar, lot improvement plans, Brock community consultation- all examples of the many discussions that occurred about parking at Brock over the past year which ultimately lead to the new parking model,” said Tarilyn Bartels, the Parking Services Manager at Brock.
A number of focus groups consisting of staff, students, and faculty met over the past four months to discuss the potential changes to the parking model that Brock is concerning using. Once the changes were agreed upon they were approved by the Senior Administrative council which allowed Parking Services to begin putting everything in place to ensure a smooth transition into the new model.
With the new model, all employees, students and visitors will be able to use the parking facilities in Zone 1 and 2 all day and night for free between May 1 and August 31, except for between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. When the Fall term commences, parking will be free on weekends and after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays, with the 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. rule remaining in place. These new rules will result in changes to parking permit prices.
“Parking permit prices for 2018/19 have not yet been finalized. We will continue to offer a range of permit options that students can select from based on their budget and desired proximity to campus,” Bartels explained.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity that this new parking model offers to our Spring/Summer students along with part time/evening students. As an added value, free parking in Zone 1 and 2 improves the accessibility to campus for more Brock students,” said Bartels.
The hope is that these changes will encourage more students to take Spring and Summer courses and that more community members will make use of the campus. The model was created to benefit both Brock students and their community counterparts.
Many members of the Niagara community come to campus to go to the library, take swimming lessons, go to a conference and more. However, many are not keen on coming to the campus due to the parking fees. With the changes to the model this will hopefully no longer be an issue.
While the changes to the model should save students money, the announcement has been met with some skepticism.
“For the summer it is really good because as athletes we go to Brock and train. So, we save money from that. But the prices are still way too expensive. After 6 p.m. there is not that many people at the school, so it does not help out as many students as it could. I think I would rather them just make the prices more affordable. This is more of a band aid solution,” said Isabell Matwijow, who lives off campus and must commute to school everyday.
Madison Delay, another student, echoed Matwijow’s concerns. “I am both happy and disappointed. There is no doubt that improvements needed to be made but I wish there was more being done for students during the school year. I feel like these changes benefit community members more than they benefit us.
Even though some students are not satisfied with the changes, the model seems to be here to stay. “The new parking model will be in place moving forward. There are no foreseeable changes in parking services at this time,” said Bartels.
Any annual parking permit holder who requires a refund for the Spring/Summer term can go to brocku.ca/parking for more information.