Parking spaces slashed yet again

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Parking spaces slashed yet again

MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER

MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER

MARY BOVE/THE HIGHLANDER

Construction workers install a piping system behind McHale Hall, January 19.

James Fisher, Reporter

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Parking on campus has turned into sport—students drive strategically, hoping to snag a suddenly empty space, or they weave through the construction obstacle course, dodging vehicles and potholes.

Junior Dominick Dellos said construction-generated traffic is another snag.

“The biggest issue I feel is that the road is so torn up that the potholes now have the potential to tear up your car and give it tire damage,” said Dellos. “I just don’t like the cleanliness of how the roads are. I felt that they should’ve come up with a way to avoid the roads and the traffic that construction trucks are causing.”

Dellos said this is the worst MU parking has ever been.

Sophomore Aaron Orchard, a resident at the new Machell Avenue house, drives to campus from his residence.

“It takes me twice as long to find a spot,” Orchard said.

President Michael MacDowell said he is aware of the parking problem and knew it likely would be a concern for students in light of the major construction happening all over campus.

“Before we went into this project we had to constrict parking,” MacDowell said. “Last spring and fall we counted the parking spaces we had and we had 182 extra spots not being used.”

Some students said they couldn’t fine spaces so they made their own spots by parking in the grass during the first week of the semester.  Safety officers issued tickets and fines for illegal parking.

“It’s not fair that they gave fines the first week,” said Orchard. “They can’t take away parking spots and expect students to willingly pay a fine for no spot on campus.”

MacDowell said tickets were issued because students parked in faculty parking spots.  “The faculty was not happy at all with students parking in the teachers’ spots,” MacDowell said. “The reason for the aggressiveness with the tickets the first week was because of the students parking in the faculty lots, and unfortunately the grass parking had to be taken care of as well.”  MacDowell reminds the campus community that students must park in white spaces and avoid yellow faculty spots.

Some students question why the heavy-duty construction didn’t start over the summer break, and MacDowell said the school was unable to get the permit to begin construction at that time, so construction was pushed to the fall.

“We knew this would be the worst time,” said MacDowell. “We waited until the spring because we normally have fewer students than we did in the fall semester. Last fall we had 1,720 students, and this semester we have between 1,633 and 1,639 students.”

Officials anticipate construction should end by August 1.  MacDowell asks everyone to be patient because it will be worth it in the end.

“We try to do everything we can to make the lives of our students better,” MacDowell said. “Part of it is building these new things, but unfortunately there’s pain to it that we have all to make it through.”