Our Failing Parking System


UNH Parking Lot (Photo by Samantha Mathewson)

Parking on the University of New Haven campus will never go down in history because it’s always going to be a reoccurring issue. Not to beat a dead horse, but something has got to give.

Here at the University, parking heavily relies on a combination of spots actually being available and people parking in the correct zones.  Nothing is more frustrating than driving around in circles looking for a spot, seeing cars that are parked in the wrong zones, and cars which don’t even have passes on them.

As resident parkers, we pay $200 to spend 40 minutes in the car looping around campus because the entire system is backwards. Students are missing class, running late to internships, and wasting gas, all because spots that used to be available to us are now reserved for campus vehicles, and the foliage in the Westside lot takes up at least 15 parking spots.

When more parking passes are given out than there are actual spots, it causes people to park in a lot that isn’t meant for their pass color, prompting a vicious cycle of nobody parking in the correct zones and parking tickets raining down upon us.

“The color coding system makes it practically impossible for people to get a spot. I had a professor who couldn’t find blue spot parking so she had to park in a commuter spot and she ended up getting a ticket for it,” said Collette Kempton.

As an on campus resident, trying to find parking in a red zone is next to near impossible. Driving in circles starting in the Sheffield lot, to the lot behind Winchester, circling back to check Westside and the garage, and finally resorting to the lot outside Bergami is a routine we are all too familiar with.

But what happens when you go through the routine for 34 minutes and there are still no parking spots? What happens when 34 minutes later it happens to be 2:30 p.m. and, in your heart, you know nobody is going to move their car?

You ask campus security where you should park and they tell you, “I’m not sure, maybe North Hall?” So there you go making a trip to North Hall to park your car in the middle of the night because the University gave out more passes than there are spots and quite frankly there is not much you can do about it.

Honestly, at the end of the day, it isn’t the end of the world. Sure it’s frustrating, and sure it makes me never want to go anywhere in fear of not getting a spot when I return, and sure it causes undue stress and anxiety, but parking has been an issue on this campus since the beginning of time and I don’t think it will be resolved anytime soon.