Parking lots and email inboxes fill as parking problems continue

TRUSU and others listen to students and prepare meetings with TRU to begin solving parking issues

Parking has been a major concern amongst students at TRU for a number of years. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

It’s certainly a passionate discussion that many TRU students, faculty, admin and TRUSU representatives have been having for a considerable amount of time now.

The mention of parking on campus can spark any number of reactions from the TRU community. Whether it’s the lack thereof, the cost of particular lots for staff and students or the distance from the infamous Lot N, which has seen a spike in traffic over the past year and has resulted in the construction of newcomer Lot NT.

“One of the things that have been addressed year after year is that parking has always consistently been a problem. It’s been a problem before construction, it’s going to be a problem after construction and it’s a huge problem now,” spoke TRUSU president Tatiana Gilbert in an interview with The Omega.

According to Gilbert, TRUSU, CUPE and TRUFA have all received comments from their members in regards to the issue of parking on campus, resulting in the group of committees banding together over the summer to begin talks of remedying the issues, talks they plan on bringing to TRU.

“We’re still hoping that TRU is willing to take action and willing to work and come to the table and see how we can solve this for our community,” Gilbert said.

While active conversation could be comforting to some, according to the 2019/2020 report on the Student Budget Consultation, parking has been an issue of concern for the past four consultations dating back to 2015.

Since then, the Sustainable Parking Framework was launched and a planned increase in rates was halted for the 2018/2019 years. While the cancelled rate hike may have offered some relief to students, the new prioritized lot system had students frustrated at the new price to proximity ratio of the parking lots, according to the publication.

Gilbert mentioned the countless emails being sent to TRUSU in regards to the parking issues and stressed that while TRUSU has its hands in trying to fix the issue, comments should also be directed to Glenn Read of Ancillary Services and Matt Milovick, the vice-president of administration and finance.

When asked about what students could expect in the near future in regards to moving the conversation forward, Gilbert said that TRUSU will be hosting a forum some time next semester.

“We will be hosting a forum sometime in the next semester where we would like to hear from members in our community and more importantly, we’d like to hear from TRU,” she said. “This is their area. This is what they are responsible for. It’s really important that TRU is also there at that table and willing to solve this problem.”

While Gilbert could not name an exact date for the mentioned forum, she advised those interested to keep an eye on the TRUSU Facebook page as well as them actively advocating around campus.

While no exact dates have come to light as to when the parking issues at TRU will be resolved, the conversation is still very active, with TRUSU seemingly on TRU’s tail on actions to come.

“TRUSU’s number one priority in anything we do is to provide a voice for students and to continually advocate for students. We will make sure their voices are heard, we never stop fighting for issues that are important to them, so that is what we plan on doing for this parking situation,” Gilbert said.