56 thoughts on “PARKING: What would you change?

  1. I wish resident parking was restricted to certain areas so that commuters could find parking. Since most resident students don’t need regular access to their cars, it would make more sense to move them to specific lots, leaving a designated lot for the people who do need to get in and out daily. The number of lots designated as “commuter only” are not nearly sufficient.

    • I agree with Holly. Most colleges have zoned parking areas where commuters, faculty and staff have separate and much closer parking areas. It really does not make sense to dedicate most parking spots within the inner areas of the campus to those student residents who rarely use their vehicles. This is particularly difficult for those of us who have jobs which require us to travel off campus frequently, sometime several times a day. It seems that expecting employees to spend large amounts of time searching for parking spots is a waste of state dollars. Most campuses I have visited require student residents to park in remote areas (such as Hillside) and only allow commuters and employees to park close in. I also don’t think the solution is to require commuters to pay more–we just need to examine how effective other models are and shift our mind-set.

  2. I work in the administration building and the lack of regular parking for the staff keeps diminishing – we have the garage, which we have to pay much much more for, and the other lots, many of the spots have been changed to paid parking spots. So then we have to compete with the masses trying to find appropriate parking in the East Gym. I don’t mind walking up the hill – but god forbid I have to leave campus during lunch or go to an appointment – I have to either drive around for 10-20 minutes to hopefully find an appropriate parking spot or park all the way next to the East Gym. There has to be a better solution other than me having to pay more for parking in the garage.

  3. Every other University has staff lots, which we do not. You have lots like the Y lots where two of the lots anyone can park in which get filled up with by hangtag (residence tags) so others with stickers cannot find a spot. Then the other Y lots are only for hantags and there are at least 30 to 50 empty spots but the people with stickers will get a ticket if they park there. Parking is an overall problem, we keep adding students, faculty, and staff but the number of parking does not increase and most are not in appropriate areas or areas that make the most sense.

  4. I park in the East Gym Lot. The spaces are incredibly tight to get in and out of; cars get dinged a lot and I think it obstructs visibility for people trying to back out of spots. People drive WAY too fast through the lot. I find parking regulations to be very confusing. Many community members I talk to won’t come on campus because they have no idea where to park or how to figure out what the rules are. Parking at meters is very expensive.

  5. I agree with everyone else, in that we need more parking. It is impossible to find parking near any of the academic buildings during the daytime hours.

  6. Parking is a nightmare and a total disaster if you have to leave campus for a Dr. Appt or come in late for any reason. More and more spots are being reserved for Physical Facility trucks and handicapped, but most times these are not even used (Lot F1 for example). Physical Facility can put their vehicles next to any building they need to work at, so why lose the spaces to them in other true parking lots? The spots are too narrow and your car ends up all door dings and scratches. I am skinny and still cannot often get into my car! It is time to have designated places for staff – the 70’s are long over. Hang tags-only get special lots, but not staff.

    • Hangtags pay alot more for parking than staff and Physical Facilities cannot park next to bldgs with their vehicles. They get tagged like anyone else. Plenty of parking, you may have to walk, it is a campus after all.

      • Physical Facilities also gets there cars a half hour before they clock out and park at a dock till they clock out….what other department allows you to get your vehicle while on the clock being paid…..none I can think of.

        • I don’t think this was meant for a gripe session on physical Facilities employees. And in general thats not true.

      • Penny: you seem to have a mistaken idea that all anyone wants is to park close to their building. Am not and never have been, afraid to walk (even with a serious foot problem). I also worked at Cornell. I know the parking there. I actually prefer to park further away because it is on the flat with less chance of others hitting my car with their doors. Physical Facility trucks park all the time right next to buildings and even in front of loading docks for the day. Never seen a one get “tagged.” Been seeing it for 10+ years. They have three spots suddenly in a lot that is no where near a building… why? Have only seen up to two total PF trucks in those 3 spots and more often only one or none. I understand hang-tags pay more, but when spots go empty in those lots, it doesn’t make sense to then force others without the hang tags to cruise the lots like vultures to try to find a spot.

  7. New Dickinson has caused an absolute disaster for residential parking. I still fail to see how the university expected to add over 500 beds to a community without adding any parking spots. I live in Endicott Hall and I generally can’t find a spot in the S lots closer than all the way behind Bingham, sometimes in the lower level lot, because Dickinson students have to park here now. I won’t pretend my residential parking issues are worse than commuter issues though; all lots are packed constantly throughout the day and considering how much we have to pay for parking when many other universities don’t charge, the whole system is beyond frustrating.

  8. Though I agree that we need more parking, creating more spaces in the lots we already have may be impossible. My car has dings all the way down each side due the fact that we park so close together. Will not buy another new car to drive to campus. Paying more to park in paid lots to get closer does not have advantages, especially when there are functions on campus. If you pay the yearly rate there is still no guarantee that you will get a good spot. It is very frustrating.

  9. I typically park by the tennis courts near the Events Center. Even from the farthest lots, the walk to my office or class is shorter than nearly any other campus in the country.

  10. I agree with the general consensus that we need more accessible parking in more appropriate areas. The visitors parking located in Lot W, along with the metered parking lots in Couper and by the Glenn G. Bartle Library offer some of the more convenient parking locations on campus, yet these lots are not only overpriced, but restricted both in size and in the allowed commuter type (in the case of the visitor lot). With all of the construction that is occuring on campus, it’s a shame there is no expansion in parking thus far, though it would understandably be difficult to expand existing lots as opposed to simply creating new ones. Adding new lots closer to the center of campus (around where the lecture hall, fine arts, and union are located) doesnt have to also create an increase in cost for parking – more accessible parking is something we should already have. There also needs to be more clarity in the designation of commuter only lots (which is the type of lot we lack most) versus resident-only, staff-only, and mixed lots respectively. None of this has to come at the expense of cutting the number of handicapped parking spaces, however.

  11. There is no easy solution to parking, but I’m curious as to whether the ratio between number of cars and number of spaces has changed over the years. It seems more and more difficult to find a space unless you want to walk a half mile to your car. East campus parking is awful and the loss of the spaces along the road by Dickinson makes no sense to me. In addition, when the newly remodeled Union and the old Dickinson Dining Hall are reopened there will be many more staff members on the East side of campus who used to park in Lot M. Where are they going to park? The continuing renovation of the old Dickinson Residence Halls are going to make parking worse because that will bring even more staff over to East Campus.

    I like someone’s suggestion of a parking lot off campus with a shuttle. What about the old car dealership across the parkway? Raze the building and create some parking. Then include that as a stop on one of the shuttle routes.

    Seeing lots that are hangtag only sitting 1/2 to 3/4 empty when I’m searching for a space is frustrating. I shouldn’t be frustrated and have my blood pressure go up before I even get to
    the office.

    And forget trying to leave campus during the day for an appointment and finding a space when you return. I have to make all my appointments for the end of the day so I don’t have to return to fight for a space.

    We need to think outside the box when it comes to parking. We’ve got some VERY smart students on this campus. Why not have a competition for them to come up with ways to make parking better on campus?

    • The student competition is a great idea, Birgit! I’d also like to make an observation that the parking garage sits half empty. If the prices go down, more people may be inclined to park in the garage and free up spaces in the other lots.

    • Parking off campus with a shuttle is a great idea. Maybe there could be a lower tier parking pass for that lot that would encourage commuters to park there? This may help some students financially as well. I believe that some campuses already do this, Cortland for example.

  12. I have never seen a campus where students can park so close, but faculty/staff have to walk so far. When I interned at Buffalo State College, I used to have to walk about a half mile to get to/from my internship. This was the same distance (commuter) students had to walk to get to classes…

  13. The parking for Dickinson and CIW are horrific. It is obvious that a parking study was not done or parking not considered when plans for the new Dickinson Community was developed. You have to sit in the lots and wait for someone to leave to get a parking space if you happen to leave campus. Question- does the number of parking permits for residences match the number of parking spaces (especially for Dickinson and CIW)?


    It is ridiculous that they decided to build the new dickinson without thinking about the parking. If there was already a parking problem before, they should have considered it and provided a solution while building the new dickinson.

    Maybe they should cut down the trees and make new parking lots next to Harpur’s Ferry and Lot O1.

  15. Too many people think they should be able to park right up close to your building. It is a campus, you walk. If you park close then you pay the convenience fee for the paid lot, garage and meters. Try parking at other colleges at the fee you are being charged at BU. Good luck! Cornell is well over 500. a year and you still walk. Stop being so lazy and get to work on time. Parking is a issue and will always be a issue, deal with it or take the bus.

    • People have been asked to share their thoughts and comments about their parking experience. I see no relevance in personal attacks that discourage people from being honest.

      Penny, as yet I see no comments that talk about your personal experience, or answer the question “Parking: What would you change?

      Where do you think commuters should park, what exceptions to your pedestrian only policy would you make for disabled drivers, or people delivering or picking up things that can not be carried long distances?

      From you comments it sounds like you probably have some good ideas to share.

  16. Do away with the Hang Tag Lots

    Add a portable parking structure over M2, M3, M4 and S lots doubling the parking in that area
    (Hampo Portable parking structure) 

    Lot R could be made bigger by using the current construction parking area

    In Lot S there is an area next to S2 that could be filled with dirt and used to create more student parking. Currently we have all of the construction dirt hauled off campus

    Keep the connector road open in the winter to cut down on the traffic on the brain roadways

    Have 2 shuttle buses repainted another color so Staff, Student and Guest can distinguish them from the other buses used off campus

    Make a new entrance and exit off Bunn Hill for all Lot M parkers this will cut down on traffic on all campus roadways

    Make the entrance to Lot M one way and move the Academic Complex bus stop along the right side to lot M. This will be safer for bus passengers and will keep traffic flowing

    Make shuttle buses more assessable in all lots for instance lots G, E1, Y and all the S lots

    Adjust class schedules by having more classes on Fridays to cut down on parking and traffic Monday thru Thursday

  17. I, too, would like to see more designated lots for faculty and staff. I would also like to see a designated lot for those on campus involved in the various construction projects. Many lots that, in my opinion, should be designated for commuters and faculty/staff are filled by 7:30 a.m. with construction workers’ vehicles. They certainly are entitled to parking, but possibly their companies could provide a shuttle from less crowded lots to the various construction sites, or the companies could pay to have their employees park in the parking garage, since there is plenty of unused capacity available.

    I’m happy to walk a distance to my office and would be willing to pay a higher fee to park in designated faculty/staff parking areas.

    Lastly, this is a university campus, after all, where the respectful expression of differing opinions and debate are encouraged. This comment forum is meant to provide valuable feedback to campus decision-makers on the parking situation. Disrespectful responses to opinions expressed in this comment forum are unnecessary and counterproductive.

  18. The parking space in the East Gym lot should be wider – even if only by six inches. It’s nearly impossible while wearing a heavy backpack to walk between cars without inadvertently knocking against side view mirrors.
    Also, commuter parkers should NOT have to pay the $5 “Event Parking” fee at the Fine Arts structure. We should pay the REGULAR $1 PER HOUR rather than the premium. Double-dipping fees only make the university look like its gouging.

  19. I would suggest a large commuter parking lot further away form the campus, with regular bus services to and from the lot, and possibly a large bike share/storage area for people who would be willing to park their cars, and bicycle around campus.

    I would make the brain public transport, bicycle, and pedestrian only. With an exception for people with disabilities, and short term parking for loading and unloading.

    The large commuter lot should have a comfortable commuter lounge with a coffee/snack kiosk and restroom facilities. This would also house the bicycle share/storage facility.
    I live too far away from campus to bicycle, but I would love to be able to leave my bicycle in a secure place close by where I park my car during the semester and be able to bicycle around campus.

    The commuter parking should have assigned parking spaces, so students do not waste 15 minutes looking for a parking space.

  20. If we had better transit, we would not need as many parking spaces. But people who have to get to school (for work or class) must be able to depend on it year round.

  21. I’m an alum, and was ticketed for parking in a nearly empty lot on campus during homecoming weekend last month. My mother, who is faculty, explained the situation to parking services and was treated extremely rudely because the employee insisted that he had a list of approved homecoming events and that parking lot wasn’t near any of them (it wasn’t – I was having an informal talk with a class full of students hoping to go into my field being taught by the professor who mentored me through my major – the exact sort of thing I would think the administration would WANT happening during homecoming).

    If I could offer one piece of advice to parking services it would be to all get on the same page with the rest of the campus’s agenda. Parking services got their 6 dollars, and when the foundation called asking me for hundreds of dollars in donations several weeks later, I just about died laughing.

  22. The M lot needs more walking paths from the upper lot down to the middle lot, so people don’t have to go all the way around to the side. The visitor parking lot by the library could use a nicer staircase from the second level down–its embarrassingly ugly–and a nicer walkway and railing from the lower lot down to the sidewalk in front of the library. Given that people park in this lot for admissions, it could be a lot more attractive. I like the suggestion made by another commenter that residents be restricted to parking in outer lots. Working in the library building means being very far away from any regular parking that doesn’t cost extra. I don’t mind walking to the lots, but it does mean one is a prisoner to Sodexho food and bag lunches. I notice that my colleagues in buildings closer to the West Gym parking go off campus to lunch all the time.

  23. I work in the sciences so I usually park in lot F 2 or lot H. When there is an event at Event Center (camper or antique show) lots H and F are closed and lots F 1 and 2 are full. Often there is space in F 3 but it is reserved for hang tag only. I would like to see this lot re-classified to open parking, the same as the other “F” and “H” lots. Also I would like to see Y 5 re-classified to open parking for additional access to the Nature Preserve.

  24. I live in hillside and have a car on campus. I have a pretty far walk to a lot of my classes and the gym and often the bus schedule is not very convenient for me. When I’m short on time or it is raining and as it’s getting colder I drive my car down to my classes and have to pay meters to get close parking spots. Hillside residents have to buy commuter meal plans which are more expensive and when it comes to parking we have to buy the more expensive resident parking passes and it’s still harder for us to get to class. I have spent over $50 on meter parking on this campus on top of the pass I have bought. I think there should be more parking options close to academic buildings especially for hillside students.

    • Also I have gotten a ticket for having my car in the 20 minute parking for an hour when my battery died and I was waiting to get jumped and when I went to talk to parking services about an appeal I was spoken to rudely and my appeal was denied.

  25. I like the idea of the large commuter lot – for a very low low fee or free – with bike share racks and a shelter/bathroom. Good idea! As long as the bus came at very frequent intervals day and into the night.

    Many do have to drive, though. There are many ‘hidden’ medical reasons why a good number cannot walk long distances, carrying everything they need for the day, through all kinds of weather. We often don’t fall under the accepted handicap hang tag requirements or we may not want one, nor do we often fit an idea of what a handicap individual looks like; we do exist and attempt to deal with things like parking issues. As long as there are choices of affordable, convenient parking it works.

  26. Take a walk by the resident parking lots on the day after a large snowfall, and look at all the snow piled high on the parked cars. Take the same walk about three weeks later, assuming the snow hasn’t yet melted significantly, and see the cars parked – still with piles of snow on them; it becomes clear that the cars haven’t moved at all for at least a few weeks. It’s a little frustrating to the daily commuter (whether that be student, faculty or staff), when they are looking for a spot to get to where they need to be. Yes, it is a campus and walking is something we should all realize we need to do. If your parking is a ten minute walk to where you need to go, so be it. However, seeing lots of snow-piled cars for longer periods of time tells me that the campus is not making the most efficient use of parking spaces. To me, a solution that is utilized on MANY campuses across the U.S. is to have resident parking on the outer part of campus or just off campus in a dedicated lot, and commuter parking on the parts of campus closest to the classrooms and the majority of offices. Provide a regular free shuttle to the outer lots for those who need to use their cars. This would open up a large number of spaces for daily commuters. After the normal “rush” of daytime activities, spots would open up for evening (not overnight) use for residents and commuters to park for meetings, performances, etc.

    I am not convinced that additional parking spaces are needed in the short run — I am convinced that redistributed parking spaces would go a long way toward addressing the daily frustration that many of us experience when commuting to work or classes each and every week day.

  27. I am a faculty member in the Decker School of Nursing and there have been times when I have come to campus and there are no places to park in lot M or in the lots down by the Science Buildings either and I am forced to pay for parking in addition to paying a yearly fee. Frankly, on an icy, snowy night, I really don’t want to walk to the far corner of M lot to get to my truck in the dark where there are scarce blue emergency lights either. I don’t always feel safe, so many times, when I am on campus until 9 pm, I usually just pay for parking, And in the back of my head, I wish we had a parking garage in Lot M instead. So yes, it is a campus, we do expect to walk, but as another individual commented earlier, please let people be free to comment on their thoughts about parking. I come and go from the hospitals to various clinical sites and need to get to meetings quickly, I don’t always have time to search for parking spots. I isn’t about personal appointments for myself, it’s about making visits to our hospital affiliates to see students and make home care visits, so finding parking has an impact on being on time for student success and learning. It’s not about being lazy and getting to work on time.

  28. I work in the CIW Library and I will be moving to the newly renovated Union in the spring. I often have to park in Mountainview across from lot M. My walk in the morning and evening is more than 10 minutes. I would like to see specific lots designated for faculty/staff. I am willing to pay more than the $20 per year fee if I am able to park closer, but I do not want to pay an exorbitant amount to park in the garage or the paid lot.

  29. I also agree that some of the lots for commuters are filled with oversized trucks from the construction crews on campus-some mornings they take up two spots and it makes it diffucult to park. They were bussing them in from the vacant lot across from campus, they should continue to do so. I also like the idea of having Resident parking in some of the lots that are farther out and allowing short-term and commuter parking to be more internal. A fac/staff lot would be a great idea as well. I have no problem walking or parking “out” in the boonies if need be, but it would be nice to see some changes.

  30. A paved walkway and road crossing at the far end of M near the nature preserve would allow people to exit the parking lot safely and walk through parking lot N to get to work or class. Much better lighting is needed as well. There are many dark areas at night.

  31. The parking lot by the event center/ west gym has at least 35 handicapped spots that are unused every single class day and that parking lot is full on most afternoons. I understand the need for additional spaces when there is an event going on in the event center, but on a daily basis they are unused spaces. Last year I sent a note to the parking staff asking if they can cover up the handicapped signs…nothing has changed ! People come around the corners of the lots flying…sometimes it feels like the parking lot at walmart.
    The “hang tag” commuter lot next to the event center is ridiculous. That was set up by a previous VP at the university for some unknown reason, and its frustrating that as a faculty member I can’t park there when there are empty spots.

  32. We definitely need lots for faculty/staff. We also need spaces closer to the buildings dedicated for faculty/staff who are traveling to the Downtown Center, local organizations, businesses, agencies, and schools for observations/meetings/etc. It is nearly impossible on a tight schedule to find a convenient spot closer to the buildings. In addition, carrying materials and equipment down from the upper lot is cumbersome and inefficient.

  33. All other Universities have dedicated staff parking lots. We do not. Especially near buildings where staff work. Residence halls have cars parked in front of them 24/7 – student cars. All of those spots could be for staff. If you have an appointment in the morning and get onto campus after 8:30, there is absolutely no spots. The only good alternative is the parking garage or paid lot, and that price is outrageous. If staff has to park there, the rate should be at least 1/2 of what is currently is. I would gladly pay $150 – 200 / year to park there. The garage is nowhere near full. It could easily be used for staff parking on that side of the campus. To maintain a structure and not have it full is wasteful. If certain areas of it are needed to accomodate visit day, council meetings, etc, the first floor could be totally reserved for that allowing staff to pay and use the remaining floors. Staff need spots within a comfortable walking distance that allows accomodation for late arrival or appointments at lunch hour. This is a critical problem.

  34. Maybe it is time to evaluate the possibility of staff (if their job function permits) working from home. If they don’t have to physically be on campus then the don’t need the parking spaces. This is quite a common practice in industry.

  35. There are far too many paved surfaces on campus. We need more green space! Parking lots should be nicely landscaped and not right on top of buildings. EVERYONE needs to be much more health conscious and walk more, so parking should be as remote as possible. This campus is compact enough that walking from one end to the other only takes about 15 minutes. So get up a little earlier in the morning and enjoy a nice, healthy, brisk walk before getting to class or to your office.

  36. As a not-so-agile (older) faculty member, who usually arrives mid-day, it is disconcerting to have to walk up and down the hill, especially when there is ice on the walkway. I also feel that faculty should have “closer” spaces, although I know the walk does me good. Paying to park closer so I can do my job would be a reduction in my pay. When I was in college, undergraduates were not allowed to have cars on campus until they were juniors. Public transport was the norm.

  37. Telecommuting is such a great idea. More online classes for students also. Other SUNY colleges have complete degrees online. I was very surprised at how few of the classes at BU are online.

  38. Parking on campus is extremely pricey and stressful. It costs almost as much to come to work on campus as it did when I worked downtown Milwaukee! I purchase the hang tag for the Pavilion which, after researching, seems to be the most affordable way to park on campus at $60/month. However, I cannot pay for it online or have it payroll deducted. In order to purchase the tag I have to go to Parking and Transit, speak with someone at one window, fill a form out, take the form two windows down to pay for the permit, then go back to the first window and show your receipt so that they can give you the physical hang tag. It has taken me almost 20 minutes to go through the process! Needless to say when it comes time to purchase the next months hang tag, I am not very excited.

  39. Bad parking (e.g. taking up multiple spaces) and failure to ever move some cars made parking especially (and unnecessarily) difficult during recent snows. It is sad to come to campus when nobody is moving (e.g. snow day) and still not be able to find parking because the same cars have been parked there – some in two spaces – for such a long time. I would almost guarantee some of the cars nearer the dorms have not moved in over a month. The majority of parking on-campus should not be overnight except for specified lots, which can be located toward the outskirts of campus. During peak times, there could also be smaller ITC-style shuttles to run students to their cars. At a prior university I served, there was a back lot reserved for those who lived on campus and had little regular need of their cars (e.g. only traveling during the breaks or the occasional weekend away). That lot was incentivized by being a little bit cheaper than the regular parking. Penalizing bad parking/driving, and encouraging greater turnover in the lots closest to the center of campus would be great improvements.

  40. I work in Academic B and don’t mind walking from Lot M in general.

    Leaving at lunch or for an appointment means I am trolling the lot for a space that is reasonable for at least 10 -15 minutes and often I pay for the privilege of parking close in that lot in front of M in those instances.

    I understand, as some have stated that it is a campus and some walking should be expected. However, there are some abusing the handicapped spots and others who need them and can’t get a spot because of the abuse. Others don’t need a handicapped spot, and yet the treck from the far end of Lot M is overwhelming for them as they age.

    Students are here for 8 semesters. Employees are here much longer and should have parking areas closer to buildings that are reserved for them. I would be willing to pay somewhat extra for that privilege.

    The walk can be quite slippery downhill at times and I think those machines with the brushes they use to clear the walk ways often increase the slipperiness. I have many friends who have fallen and would like to find a way to try and make that less likely.

    I’m happy you are looking at the issue. If there were parking farther away with a reliable shuttle that ran often and that dropped me off in front of Academic A, I would consider it….

  41. It seems we have some elder faculty that would benefit from parking closer to the building where they teach. Not all re handicapped but the trek takes a toll. Perhaps we could designate some of the unused handicapped parking spaces for “Elder Parking”.

  42. There is not enough parking in new Dickinson. Numbered spots could ensure everyone has parking around their buildings. I live on campus but I use my car frequently.

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