The Conversing Commuter: Lot opens options for commuters

This semester brought an addition to the Lawrenceville campus in the form of a new parking lot in the back of campus near Poyda, the athletic fields and only a short walk away from the Fine Arts building. This new lot has about 270 spots and is specifically for commuters and a few Poyda residents. It is intended to help with the limited number of parking spaces the school has for its growing student population.

Publicity for the new lot seems to be limited. The Association of Commuting Students is attempting to reach the commuter population through meetings and flyers in the Commuter Lounge in the Bart Luedeke Center (BLC), but how many students actually utilize the new lot? Not enough.

Commuters have traditionally parked in the C lot in front of the BLC. However, if a student has a morning or evening class in the Fine Arts building or the Science building, the new lot is a better option because it is closer to those two buildings. Even if a student’s classes are in Memorial or Sweigart Hall, the distance is the same as it is from the old lot. So why not use the new lot that has fewer cars?

Parking is an issue on campus, especially for commuters who have classes during popular times, such as the Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:10-10:10 a.m. slot or the Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 1:10-2:10 p.m. slot. This is also during rush hour on many of the major roads such as I-95 and Routes 1 and 206. So finding a parking spot can be a stressful end to an already stressful drive. Instead of turning into the C lot, why not just go straight past the BLC, Public Safety, Poyda and Maurer Gym to the beautiful new lot? It makes more sense to go where there is more available parking.

To park, a commuter only needs the same decals he or she received from Public Safety this fall or spring. No additional permissions or passes are necessary. Those lucky Poyda residents who can park in the lot must have the special stickers they obtained from Public Safety to park.

Other changes to parking policy were noted in an e-mail sent out by Dean of Students Anthony Campbell the first week of the semester. There were slight changes for resident students that included part of Z lot, where freshmen  are allowed to park, becoming part of R lot, where upperclassmen can park.

Like many universities, Rider is growing. The last of the Echo Boom, those born between 1982 and 1995, will be entering college soon, resulting in a growth in college enrollment. The construction of the West Village Commons, the new residence hall under construction and to be completed in June, is an example of this. New facilities to serve as many students as possible will be features of the coming years. As for the new parking lot, it will lose that title soon as West Village will also have its own new parking section. Hopefully just as it loses its title of “new” it will gain the title of “known.”
Jessica Scanlon is a freshman journalism major.

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