By Adam Baker/Editor
Chris Bertrand was on a mission. The junior social work major from Berea was looking for what nearly every student considers a rarity on campus.
Bertrand had circled the parking lot near his residence hall, Commonwealth Hall, eight times looking for a spot to park his friend’s car.
After giving up on finding a nearby spot, Bertrand headed to new territory, hoping for better luck.
“I had to go all the way over to Burnam, and the only reason there was a spot there was because somebody left,” he said. “Otherwise, there wasn’t any spots over there either.”
Like many students at Eastern, additional parking is at the top of Bertrand’s wish list. He is clueless, however, as to how to go about solving the problem.
“We do need additional parking,” he said. “I don’t know where – I know that’s an issue. Where can you possibly put additional parking unless there is land that I don’t know of that EKU has?”
According to Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Mark Jozefowicz, there might be some relief in sight.
As part of developing a comprehensive parking and transportation master plan to improve campus parking, the university has hired a parking consultant. The consultant from The Consulting Engineers Group Inc., Jozefowicz said in an e-mail, will be on campus for five weeks.
During the visit, the consultant will review all aspects of campus parking. This will include: evaluation of current parking and transportation operation, staffing, signage, permit registration procedures, parking regulations and policies, shuttle schedules and equipment, Jozefowicz said.
In addition, he said, the consultant will analyze historical and future demand for parking and hold forums and an online survey to gather input from residents, commuters, faculty and staff.
Jozefowicz added the consultant would look at safety issues regarding pedestrians. He did not know an exact date as to when the campus community may start noticing changes.
“Once a parking and transportation master plan is presented to President Glasser, recommendations will be reviewed by the appropriate personnel and other approving entities before any recommendations are instituted,” he said in the e-mail.
Allison Meding, who transferred this year from the University of Louisville, suggests the university build a parking garage to ease stress in the lots.
“We had that at U of L,” she said. “Even though it was sort of eerie at night, I think that would be good if they put that in a central type location. It fits a lot of people.”
Meding added she goes home for the weekends and then returns early to get a parking spot for the upcoming week.
“I park … and leave (my car) there for pretty much all week unless I have to go somewhere because I don’t want to lose (the spot),” she said.
Jozefowicz said it’s too early in the semester to compare this parking situation to that of past years.
“Historically after the first two weeks of school, the parking situation improves once students and staff get their vehicles registered and everyone parks in the appropriate zone,” he said.
He also said the community should remember the shuttle bus service, an “under utilized source of convenient transportation.”
The shuttle follows a schedule proposed by the Student Government Association. For more information about the shuttle and for the schedule, visit www.publicsafety.eku.edu and follow the links.
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