Main campus parking congestion under control

By Dana Bitto

October 30, 2013

Last month, Dominican took the initiative to create more parking spaces for faculty, staff and students. In total, 40 parking spots were added. Since the addition, it seems that the congestion of cars has begun to cease.

Dan Bulow, director of buildings and grounds, credits recent structural improvements and revisions to parking policies with the ease in parking issues across campus.

“We have noticed we have not had to close the garage down in the last week or so,” Bulow said. “We have aggressively ticketed those that are parking on campus without a proper permit and it has deterred those not to come to campus.”

Sophomore commuter Mike Bobek says students seem to be satisfied with the new parking spots.

“I know students would arrive to school early just to try to find a spot for their car,” he said. “The additional spaces created a sense of relief and people are not spending as much time searching for a spot.”

However, Bobek has also observed other possible troubles regarding parking related to River Forest restrictions.

“If the parking limit on Park Avenue was not limited to two hours, then it would be easier for more students to find parking spaces,” Bobek added.

Although many at Dominican have expressed their frustrations with parking on campus, sophomore resident Julia Lopez says she has never found parking her car to be a big problem.

“I never really had an issue finding a parking spot, regardless if I had to park far,” she explained. “But then again, I don’t think I had a problem with parking because I’m a resident and there seems to always be parking spots in the resident lot.”

While construction occurred in September to make more parking available, there were also serious talks about whether or not to carry out the option of electronic signage in order to avoid congestion in the parking garage.  Currently, the topic has become a highly considerable investment.

“We are looking at some form of electronic signage to let people know the garage is full before they make the trip up five flights and have to turn around,” Bulow said.

Suggestions were also made about getting students to utilize the approximately 90 free spaces at the Priory Campus.

“We could only use whatever extra spaces we have at the Priory knowing that the students, faculty and staff that work and live there need spaces,” Bulow said. “The directives to get students to park there have not been spelled out as of now.”

Bulow also said outside visitors can inadvertently make the tight parking situation even worse and that it is important to have proper communication in advance when events are scheduled on campus.

“When scheduling any events, [departments should] please inform Scheduling and Event Services so they can check the master calendar to not only cross check what else may be happening on campus that day, but also to communicate to those that do the scheduling across campus,” he said. “We can then try to make plans to accommodate events by moving people to the Priory, augmenting the shuttle and advertise what the event is to make people aware ahead of time that parking will be affected.”

Overall, the additional 40 spaces has eased the stress of finding a parking space for most and brought along more possibilities to continue parking availability in the future. In order for these changes to stay effective, security urges members of the Dominican community to follow scheduling procedures and stay knowledgeable on parking policies.