For commuter students attending Robert Morris University, parking has always been a pain, but with the recent opening of the Wheatley Center, the difficulties have escalated to new heights
“To find a space for Robert Morris students you have to drive up next to a person and stalk them in hopes they are going to their car and leaving,” said senior commuter student Zachary Kresak.
In the Upper Massey lot, where construction has been abundant of late, locating a spot has been nearly impossible. In addition, due to students waiting for someone to leave, traffic has been backed up.
Since the parking area situated adjacent to the Wheatley Center is reserved primarily for staff, the Lower John Jay has begun to fill up with the cars of Communication students. As a result, nursing majors are not able to park in their designated area.
The parking pains felt on campus stem from the fact that the RMU police department has issued more parking passes than there are spaces.
Out of the 1,400 commuter parking passes that were issued for the 2012-2013 school year, only 1,100 yellow lined spots designated for commuters, exist on campus
Robert Morris Police Chief Randy Mink believes that the university has an ample amount of parking, but in locations situated away from the academic buildings.
“We have plenty of parking on campus,” Mink said. “The thing is they are not in spaces where people want them.”
RMU faculty and staff, whose designated spots are marked by red lines, are permitted to park in the spots reserved for commuters only, however commuters do not have the opportunity to take the parking spot of a staff. The only exception to this is if a student parks in the Revere Lot after 5:30 p.m., after the administrators have left for the day
Mink said that there is hope down the road for more parking to appear on campus, however he is unsure of when it will take effect
“There is a master plan the university is working on. I just don’t know exactly when it will occur,” Mink said. “I imagine it’s going be within the next year or so.”
RMU is currently in the process of constructing a road that will loop around campus. The road will connect the Jefferson Center with the Wheatley Center by merging with the outside roads. In addition to improved traffic conditions, it will also make pedestrian travel much safer.
“It’s going to take a while, but hopefully it will not be too far out,” Mink added. “Parking does seem to be a problem but people do not want to walk and the extra walking is not too bad when the skies are clear and the temperature moderate.”
Mink also said that that the reason the lots are placed on the edges is so that the university can provide a much safer environment for students.
“The thing that students have to realize is that is the fact the university and most universities throughout the country are trying to make their campuses much safer,” Mink said. “So what they are doing is putting the parking lots on the roadways on the perimeter of the campus so that the rest of the interior walkways so there’s a safety factor automatically built in.”