For anyone who has ever driven to Brock, I don’t need to tell you just how terrible the parking is. But to make sure everybody’s on the same page, I’ll try and be brief.
Other than a handful of metered and accessible spots, there is nowhere to park that is actually close to any of the entrances to Brock. Despite this, they still have the audacity to not only charge some of the highest parking rates of any university in the country, but they actually charge based on how close the lot is to the school.
The “closer” lots, Zone 1, that costs nearly $700 for the school year, still doesn’t give you direct access to over half the campus. There’s only a single Zone 1 parking lot and it’s not even centrally located, so even at this lot you can expect to walk at least 10-15 minutes to class, sometimes 20 or more depending where it is on campus.
The other lot is Zone 2, which only costs about $150 less than Zone 1. This parking pass gives you access to a group of parking lots that are literally across the city border in Thorold they are so far away from campus, guaranteeing you a 10-15 minute walk to campus, let alone your class.
The best part of all of this is that while you might think that buying a parking pass would at least secure you a parking spot in these terrible paid lots every time you have to go to school, none of these lots have gated entrances and they oversell passes to park in the lots every year, so most of the time the lots are full by 9:00 a.m. anyways, making the passes even more worthless.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the recent events. The other night Brock sent out an email explaining how anyone with a Zone 2 parking pass will now have to park at the Merrittville Speedway and take a shuttle over to campus, taking an extra “30 to 45 minutes” according to the email.
All I can really say is that I’m disappointed, but not surprised, given how terribly Brock handles parking in every conceivable way. The big thing that stuck out to me is that despite offering this awful makeshift solution to a problem they created and didn’t tell anybody about when they bought their parking passes at the beginning of the school year, Brock is still requiring you to have a parking pass to park over five kilometres away from campus.
The email says that the lot at Merrittville will be monitored, as you will still need your useless Zone 2 parking pass to park there or you will have to pay $6 per day. So that means anyone that got the partial (yes, partial) refund for their pass and returned it is out of luck. They also mentioned that they will be increasing parking enforcement on campus too, just to twist the knife even further to the people they already screwed over in the first place.
I did understand that the Canada Summer Games buildings (which aren’t even going to be built in time for the actual games, but that’s another issue) would cause a few issues for people parking in Zone 2, that’s not the main issue here. The problem is how they’ve handled this situation from start to finish. It was not made clear to students when buying the parking pass that halfway through the year the lot you paid more than $500 for would just be closed. But to have such a terrible solution and STILL charge people to park is so tone deaf that I can’t properly put it into words.
Also, that 30 to 45 minutes they asked people to “allow” when coming to school if they park in Zone Merrittville, likely going to double after the next big snowfall which Brock inevitably won’t close the campus for.
The “solution” to this problem offered by Brock feels so half-baked, riddled with issues and is honestly offensive to anyone who bought a Zone 2 parking pass. What they need to do is offer everybody their money back in full and provide Zone Merrittville parking free of charge, full stop. There’s no excuse for anything less, but especially not for the passive aggressive email they sent out, warning people about stealing spots in the dirt and gravel lot five kilometres away from Brock down a one lane road (don’t think you’ll have to worry about that, Brock).
I hope that the people who did buy a Zone 2 parking pass stand up to Parking Services, because this is nothing short of a big slap to the face to over one thousand students, staff and faculty. This is just another example of Brock, which is supposed to be a public institution, treating us like customers first and students second.