Plagued by unreliable shuttles and crowded lots, the commute to class was often a battle last year for Quinnipiac students and faculty. The Quinnipiac University Department of Public Safety wanted to make sure there are no such problems this year and has adjusted parking policies accordingly.
Chief of Public Safety David Barger said the department worked with SGA at the end of the spring semester and worked throughout the summer to create new rules and fix the university’s parking problems.
The new parking rules affect junior residents at Quinnipiac’s York Hill campus as they can no longer park in North Lot. Instead, juniors must park in Hogan Lot past the athletic fields on the Mount Carmel campus.
“Seniors felt that they were being pushed over to the Hogan Lot by juniors and, since they were upperclassmen, they felt that they should receive some preferential treatment,” Barger said.
The move does more than appease seniors; it also looks to alleviate congestion in North Lot, giving seniors, commuting students and faculty more space to park.
“What we’re concerned about is getting students, staff and faculty here in a timely manner,” Barger said.
Barger explained that by having juniors drive straight by the North Lot entrance and onto Hogan Road the traffic around Quinnipiac will be faster, reducing congestion on the roads surrounding the university. The Department of Public Safety hopes the expedited traffic flow can get faculty and commuting students to classes on time.
Although the new parking rules will make commuting and parking easier for most students, there are some juniors who do not think the rules are fair.
Junior Jennifer Mercouris believes the parking should still be first-come, first-served.
“I can understand the frustration coming from some of the juniors,” Mercouris said. “Having to walk from behind Mountainview to [the College of Arts and Sciences] means you’d have to leave almost half an hour early.”
But despite the longer walk to class, Barger made it clear the new rules are not meant to prevent juniors from driving to the Mount Carmel campus.
“I don’t look at it as deterring juniors from driving down,” Barger said. “But I can empathize with seniors saying, ‘We’ve been here four years; we’re living on campus in [university] housing, we would like to park in the North Lot.’”
The Department of Public Safety did more than just delegate junior parking to Hogan Lot. Barger is confident the York Hill shuttles will be on a more consistent schedule this year and urges students to use them to commute to the Mount Carmel campus. While the shuttles may not be the most convenient option, Barger believes they are the best means of transit to class for York Hill residents.
“Gas is now going to be up over $4 per gallon here in Connecticut,” Barger said. “Economically speaking, for the student, using the shuttles is a much more effective way of utilizing money.”
Barger also emphasized that the shuttles are ultimately paid for through students’ bills to the university each year. Besides saving money on gas, he said students should use the shuttles as much as possible because, at the end of the day, they are paying for the buses.
“[Students] are paying for the service already. Why not utilize it?” Barger said. “It’s like having an E-ZPass and driving down the New Jersey Turnpike and driving in the cash lane the entire time.”
By riding the shuttles, Barger said students can help keep the shuttle schedule consistent and on time. A constant flow of students gives the drivers less downtime and keeps them in continuous transit between the York Hill and Mount Carmel campuses.
The chief also noted that the Department of Public Safety is monitoring shuttle traffic at the beginning of the school year and is open to the possibility of adding additional shuttles if there is enough demand for the buses.
With new parking regulations and a better shuttle system the Quinnipiac Department of Public Safety is looking to create a more efficient and easier commute for all of Quinnipiac’s students.