Monday, October 23, 2006

Where did all the Parking go?

Whether or not you have a car on campus, it is likely you have noticed our precarious parking situation. The construction is largely to blame for this. Student Government has worked tirelessly to find a solution to this problem.

As a result of the construction, parts of the campus had to be torn up, such as the area outside of the Pub and much of the Benziger parking lot. To compensate for the lost parking, the administration added more parking around campus, most notably by building the new lot. The administration thought that any parking problems caused by the construction would be prevented with this new parking.


Still, it seemed there was a problem. We received many complaints both from students and faculty. The numbers on paper and the number of available spaces didn’t seem to match up.


We then discovered the reason. It was that the number of spots the administration thought we lost from the construction was substantially lower then the number we actually lost. Instead of a net gain, in reality there was a net loss.


The administration countered that they had never seen some of the lots completely full. They postulated that if some of the lots never filled up then there must not be a parking problem.


The complaints poured in steadily for weeks. We decided to figure out once and for all if there was a parking problem. To prove this, we picked a day and counted every legal spot on campus. With that number in the back of our minds, we picked another day and counted all of the cars parked within that same area multiple times during the same day. Despite having some open spots, the number of illegally parked cars was greater than the number of available spots during one of our counts. During many of the other counts, the amount of spots narrowly outnumbered the number of cars on campus.


Even if you ignore the count that found more cars on campus than legal spots, the narrow margin can not be ignored. Our main fear is what happens in the winter. There is not enough spare parking capacity to clear the lots to allow for plowing. The margin is so tight, that even losing a few spots could spell disaster.



Manhattanville's Student Government Newsletter Article Link:
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