Brooke Hurley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The vibrant town of Collegeville is in full swing. There are lots of people around … and with them, lots of cars. That means fewer parking spaces, and nowhere is the scarcity more pronounced than on Main Street. For students who live there, the availability of parking is becoming a concern. Junior Sarah Haughton explains that “parking is a pain because it’s a lottery … you never know if you’re going to get a spot or not.”
Twenty-two Main Street homes are occupied by Ursinus students, and there are only seven parking lots designed for Main Street available for students to park in. These lots, which vary in size, are in proximity to Main Street homes, but have a significant number of faculty spots unavailable for students to park in. Some of the lots simply do not have enough spots for the number of students with cars who live in nearby homes, and students regularly park in lots not designated for their houses. It’s a mess.
Across all Main Street lots students struggle with finding parking. Junior Claire Velte lives in Todd, which shares a big lot with other Main Street houses, and it continues to be a problem. “My lot is always completely packed, so once you find a spot you kind of need to stay there. I feel like I can’t leave at all during the week or I’ll get stuck in a lot across campus—I just don’t have the time to be moving my car three times a day and walking all over campus to get to it,” says Velte.
The concern over parking for many students, especially females, can become a safety concern when they return to campus late at night. Senior Rileigh Klein shares an experience she had this fall semester: “I didn’t get home till 11:00pm and there was not a single spot in the lot behind Hobson or the other lot closest to Hobson, so I just parked in a faculty spot, and they gave me a ticket early that next morning. I tried to dispute it online and told them I felt unsafe walking from the further lot, especially from the 9th Ave lot alone, but they refused to remove the charge. It seems ridiculous to charge a young girl over a safety concern walking home alone at night.”
The Ursinus website, under the Campus Safety section, states, “Students are not guaranteed a parking spot near their designated residence hall. If the desired student lot is full, students may park in the West Lot off of 9th Ave. Students who return to campus late at night may request a personal escort from this lot to their residence hall.” We contacted Campus Safety to discuss these issues, but had not received comment by press time. Hopefully we will see parking issues resolved in the near future.
If you or another have additional concerns, please reach out to Campus Safety at (610) 409-3333.