New parking policy to be implemented for 2003-2004
Bowdoin Security, with the help of the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG), is tightening the reigns concerning parking. In the past few years, the increased amount of cars on campus has created a shortage of available parking spots.
Students whose color-coded parking permits assign them to a certain area are having trouble finding spots. To address this dilemma, Security is working along side the BSG to have stricter color codes. Although this will solve the problems of too many cars in one lot, it will mean less freedom for students-and thus more walking.
The catalyst for this process was the Ladd House parking lot, which shares a permit color with Brunswick Apartments and other social houses. Colin Lecroy '04, a BSG member working on the issue, said, "Ladd is the biggest problem since it is in the middle of a popular destination." During the daytime students attending classes park at the Ladd lot for its close proximity to the campus, causing overflow since both Ladd residents and other drivers are trying to park there. This is what Parking Coordinator Richard Yanok refers to as "migration."
This phenomenon is not specific to Ladd. Residents of Brunswick Apartments often have problems finding spaces at night due to other students visiting one another. Yanok explains that this problem is "typical of a situation where you have a constant parameter, the parameter being the number of parking spots, that pretty much doesn't change, but [there is an] increasing number of vehicles coming to campus."
This creates two problems security is addressing-effectively enforcing parking rules and finding a way to allow students to still visit each other for personal or work-related reasons, while at the same time ensuring spots for lot residents.
To combat the dilemma, security and BSG have decided on making the lot colors more specific-meaning, for example, that Brunswick will have one color while Ladd will have another. Every campus lot will have its own color and only students with this color permit will be allowed to park there. Exceptions will be made during the grace period, which will allow anyone holding a permit of any color to park in all lots between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. and 12 midnight on weekends.
Despite the pressing nature of the parking problem, security deemed it unfair to change the rules during the middle of the year. "We didn't feel it was just in security to go halfway through a year and then enforce something to the letter of the way it is written just because we are starting to receive complaints," Yanok said. The new ideas will be implemented at the beginning of the 2003-2004 academic year.
In light of the new rules, students will need to make tougher decisions than in the past. A car will receive only one color sticker that will restrict it to a specific lot-for example, those students at Pine Street will need to choose between having their car in the Coffin Street lot or at Pine Street. Students have to assess whether it is more important for them to be located in the middle of campus or at their residence.
As of now the process by which the spots will be assigned has yet to be determined. Security is leaning towards distributing parking spaces on a percentage system where seniors get the majority of any given lots, juniors some, and sophomores even less.
The BSG is promoting a seniority system where seniors get first pick. Bruce Boucher, Directory of Security, will have the final say on the issue, which will be resolved by the end of the year.
Another parking change concerns the blue lots in the center of campus. During the week this parking is free to all-permit or no permit-but next year this will not be the case.
Only cars with permits will be allowed to park on campus, forcing off-campus students to register their car with the school and purchase a parking permit if they want any access to the school parking at any time.
The new rules, made in an effort to fix the problem of spot shortages, is believed to be in the best interest of the students.
Yanok believes the plan will benefit all since it "ensures that residents ultimately have a place to put their vehicle at the end of the day, but it also allows for a degree of visitation and flexibility."