Student body outnumbers available parking spaces

By Rachael Renz
September 13, 2010

With 278 legal parking spaces on Residential Boulevard, the 78 seniors, 177 juniors and 218 sophomores that live on-campus seem to always have trouble parking near their residence halls.

In the past two years, there have been over 1,200 permits sold and in those years there were more than 6,500 tickets issued to permit owners.

Rachael Renz/Copy Editor

“Public safety does not reap the benefits of the permits and tickets, it goes to the college,” Lillian Burroughs,

director of public safety, said.

Burroughs has been the director of public safety for three years and believes she has improved the parking situation at Cabrini.

“I’d like to think it’s been better since I’ve been here. My biggest thing is to be consistent and have people buy permits; it’s all about safety. My theory is uniformity. If people park all over the place it’d be chaos,” Burroughs said.

Public safety’s main goal is to keep Cabrini safe and also keep the beauty of the campus simultaneously by mandating the roads, driveways and parking spaces.

“It’s not that we don’t have enough parking, it’s just that students don’t find it convenient. I think it’s all about perception. If you live in the apartments you want to park outside of the apartments,” Burroughs said.

“I live in the apartments and the parking on this side of campus just doesn’t work. Most of the juniors and seniors have cars and there are no spots near our dorms but there are spots in front of the sophomore residence halls. I find myself parking in front of East Res where I lived last year,” Walter Jesuncosky, junior history major, said.

Another issue some students have with parking at Cabrini is the amount of handicapped spaces in front of certain residence halls.

“Students park in the handicap spots and public safety doesn’t approve. I agree that you shouldn’t park in the designated handicapped spots but sometimes students do. A lot of times students unload their car or run into their dorms for a minute because there are no available spots in front of their residence halls and they get a ticket. I think they could solve this problem by assigning an unloading area for students who are idling by their residence hall,” Melissa Gambino, senior biology major, said. “I am almost sure students would be happy to drive their car after their errands to the Dixon lot to park.”

Radnor Chief Jim Kelly of the Radnor Fire Department requested that Cabrini College restrict parking on campus driveways due to concerns over safety. --Rachael Renz/Copy Editor

Although students may complain that there are too many handicapped spots in front of their dorm, there is a reason why that spot isn’t open for all residents. By law, Cabrini must have a certain amount of handicapped parking spots on campus.

“My pet peeve is people parking in handicapped spots. When you do that without a hangtag and you say ‘I was only inside for a minute,’ it doesn’t matter. I’ll deny your appeal,” Burroughs said.

“There should be more parking in the Dixon lot as well as Residential Boulevard. There is more grassy space and room for parking spaces to be made. Also, most of the driveway spaces are unused and I feel that this is a waste. Why have a driveway if it is unable to be parked in?” Gambino said.

This is a familiar question throughout campus that many residential students have been asking but don’t know the answer to. Unknown to most students, there are many limitations with building new spaces.

“What’s complicated about Cabrini is we have historical buildings, land and even 300 trees. When you build a structure like a garage or a parking spot, there’s a master planning committee that figures out how we can grow with our campus. I’d love to see additional parking but you can’t just tear down trees and build a garage,” Burroughs said.

Besides the environmental issues, there are also safety issues with parking on campus. Radnor Chief Jim Kelly of the Radnor Fire Department has recently disabled parking on the house driveways.

“I requested that Cabrini College limit parking due to public safety concerns. There have been several problems over the years with safety in the driveways,” Kelly said.

Not only are trees and driveways an issue, there are also other difficulties unbeknownst to most. Below the Dixon Center and Xavier hall there are storm water detention bases. These detention bases store the overflow of rain so it doesn’t flood the ecosystem.

“I am currently a junior living in West Residence and I only get a parking spot near my residence hall once in a blue moon. I would absolutely love the addition of a parking garage next to the Dixon Center. I feel like my parents pay enough money and everyone will benefit from an additional parking lot,” Chris Didun, junior exercise science major, said.

As vice president of finance and administration, Stephen Lightcap has been responsible for information technology resources, planning and zoning, public safety and facilities for the past 13 years.

Over the past two years, 6,500 tickets have been issued to permit owners. Many on campus are asking for more parking spaces. --Rachael Renz/Copy Editor

“The college does something called master planning. It’s a great, big, giant conversation on the campus about acreage from library books to how people walk and drive on campus,” Lightcap said. “The goal is to make a parking garage and ultimately shut down the one-way road in front of Founders and make it strictly pedestrian,” Lightcap said.

The tentative parking deck would be three levels high and would be built on top of the Dixon parking lot. This addition would add 300 more spots, costing between $15,000 and $20,000 per space. In total this parking garage would cost between $4.5 and $6 million.

In 2002 the master plan contemplated building a parking garage but the decision was made to build the Iadarola Building, formally known as the Center for Science, Education and Technology.

In February a revised master plan will be set in motion, determining the future of Cabrini’s campus concerning a parking garage, a campus center or both.

A campus center would include the mailroom, bookstore, student lounges, meeting spaces for clubs and a student government room. Also, a campus center would include eateries possibly including a pizza place, Chinese food, Jazzman’s and Sandella’s.

The campus center remains to be an idea that will be proposed, along with the parking garage in the master planning meeting in February.

“Since I have been here we have created East Residence hall, Cabrini Apartment Complex, West Residence hall, the Dixon Center, the turf field and the Iadarola building. As a college we want to plan for the future of our campus in the best way possible,” Lightcap said.

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Rachael Renz

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