Student drivers will lose weekday access to 63 parking spaces in lots at the Maine Street College Houses when they are converted into spaces for visitors, faculty and staff this August.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley announced the pending shift in an all-campus email yesterday afternoon. The changes come as part of the College’s evolving plan to provide more central parking spaces for visitors and staff and to cut down on the long-term storage of student cars close to campus.
The email also announced that nine spaces on North Campus Drive will be transferred to the Dayton Lot behind David Saul Smith Union as part of this summer’s construction at North Campus Drive and Hyde Plaza. In her email, Longley said that the North Campus Drive construction is “designed to improve pedestrian safety; to create new ADA-compliant parking spaces and a sidewalk; to slow traffic; and to increase green space in this area adjacent to the Bowdoin Quad.”
Though the College House spots will remain open for student use on nights, weekends, and during move-in days, the switch aims to consolidate student parking in the Farley Field House and Watson Arena parking lots. Reed House—the only non-Maine Street College House with a parking lot—will continue to provide student parking.
A private parking consultant the College hired in 2012 noted that student drivers frequently drove throughout campus during the day, according to a September 2012 Orient article. Longley hopes that the readjustment will encourage students to “park once,” a philosophy in accordance with sustainability goals.
“A lot of people who park at Farley and Watson right now don’t touch their cars all week,” Longley said in a phone call with the Orient.
Some students feel that this distance defeats the purpose of having a car on campus.
“If you’re driving to campus and you can only go as far as Farley—that’s still not very helpful,” said Elizabeth Strayer ’15, who said her friends with cars prefer the College House lots.
“I think its pretty unfair,” said Adriane Berry ’14. “They’ve already converted most of the student parking to visitor [or faculty] parking.”
According to Longley, parking lots at Ashby House, the Boody Johnson House, and Dayton Lot are often full by 8 a.m., leaving few options for commuting faculty and staff.
Julian Tamayo ’16, who worked this summer as an intern at the Office of Admissions, said that he understood the College’s effort to accommodate non-student cars.
“I dealt with a lot of people wondering where they needed to park as visitors,” he said. “Having more availability for people who are new to the College is definitely beneficial and in everybody’s best interest.”
Designed by Stephen Stimson Associates of Cambridge, Mass., the wider North Campus Drive landscape improvements are part of the same $2 million multi-year plan that led to last summer’s renovations to the Moulton Union steps and South Campus Drive.
According to Longley, the Board of Trustees was briefed on the landscape changes at their 2014 meeting a few weeks ago.
- Joe Sherlock and Nicole Wetsman contributed to this report.