Students voice their concern over lack of parking

In the spring of 2017, the university will begin construction of new residential housing developments here on campus. This new space will be built on what is currently the student parking lot behind Old Main, one of the most frequently used parking lots on campus. These buildings are part of the campus master plan that seeks to expand and improve TRU’s campus space over the next 60 years.

Building Site B will contain up to 79 residential units. Parking for these units will be underground, but the number of student spaces the new buildings will take up is up to 170. (TRU Community Trust Request for Proposals)

Building Site B will contain up to 79 residential units. Parking for these units will be underground, but the number of student spaces the new buildings will take up is up to 170. (TRU Community Trust Request for Proposals)

However, many students worry that the newest construction plans will cause a big inconvenience to them on a daily basis, and for little return.

To find out what students thought, we caught up with them in the parking lot to hear what they had to say.

Caitlyn Childs, a second-year biology student, says that student parking is already in high demand.

“It’s pretty bad, especially in the mornings. If you come between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. you’re almost guaranteed to not get a spot anywhere close to your building.”

Samantha Hayes, a fourth-year student of Journalism, has similar claims, stating that even earlier than 8:30 a.m. is “a struggle” when trying to find parking.

Adam Elwakeel has missed classes because of it.

“I was here half an hour early and still couldn’t find a spot,” Elwakeel said.

When asked about what students thought of the new construction plans, many had mixed feelings.

Childs stated that she looks forward to the new buildings, but thought that taking away so many student parking spots in the process doesn’t seem very efficient.

“There is space in Lot N right now, but if you displace these, that one will be full and there won’t be any parking left.”

Tristian Jones, a first-year law student, was quite passionate about the matter, stating that he has seen issues like these at other universities. His biggest concern in particular was about parking passes. He is doubtful the university will adjust and decrease the amount they plan to sell to students.

“Selling overlapping permits is really frustrating,” Jones said. “It’s borderline immoral because the university is making so much profit [at students’ expense]. I guarantee they’re not going to decrease the amount of permits they sell.”

Jones believes that the university should take action and try to find solutions for this inconvenience.

“Ideally they should encourage people who are living on campus to not bring vehicles and facilitate some kind of incentive for people to bus or bike to school. The fact that it costs less isn’t much of an incentive in this city where it takes 10 minutes by car and northwards of 20 minutes by bus. Having to wait for specific bus arrival and departure time as well… it’s just a huge lack of convenience,” Jones said.

The university said it plans to announce changes to parking in January, but it hasn’t elaborated on what those plans are.