Student parking on campus has been a growing concern over the past few years, with conflicts including availability, safety and restrictions.
Students feel that the parking regulations are unclear and that Security is unjust.
One aspect of Security is to ensure that Bobcat Alley is clear, as it serves as a fire lane.
A twenty minute limit is set to help keep the road open, but Bobcat Alley remains the hot spot for student ticketing.
Officers patrol Bobcat Alley, writing down the license plate numbers of the vehicles parked there. No less than twenty minutes later, or possibly a few hours later, an officer will return to be sure that students are respecting the time limit.
If any vehicle has exceeded the limit, the owner of the vehicle will be fined $10 and Security has the option to tow the vehicle.
Although Bobcat Alley is the most commonly ticketed area, Security focuses the most on the Hilltop lot and commuter lots during the day.
The Hilltop lot is reserved for juniors, and was full last semester, forcing about 80 juniors to park their vehicles in the Westwoods lot, which holds approximately 100 vehicles.
This semester, Ronald Colavolpe, Sr., assistant chief for parking and transportation, has moved those juniors on campus, either to the College of Liberal Arts lot or to the Hilltop lot where spaces opened up as a result of students transferring to other universities, moving off campus, or studying abroad.
The Hilltop lot is the only parking lot on campus equipped with surveillance cameras. The Whitney and Westwoods lots have Security officers on duty at all times, so theft and vandalism should not be a problem, but for some, it is.
John Rizzolo, a sophomore mass communications major, went to his car parked in the Westwoods lot last November to find that his vehicle had been broken into and nearly $1000 worth of car accessories had been stolen.
“The lot is small so there is no excuse for that to happen,” Rizzolo said. “If they are going to create a militant type of security, they should be effective in stopping crime.”
Rizzolo continues to park in the Westwoods lot and has not been contacted by Security or the Hamden Police Department since filing his report.
“All of our lots are fairly secure and safe,” Colavolpe said. “No matter how safe you try to provide it, someone is going to damage someone else’s car.
Guards cannot be everywhere at the same time, but they do patrol the lots and are a deterrent for vandalism.”
While some students have problems with theft, others have problems with ticketing.
The Parking Regulations booklet states that since the Whitney lot closes at 11 p.m., a student has the option to park his or her vehicle in the Westwoods lot in the area designated for temporary parking, if the vehicle is moved back to the Whitney lot by noon the next day.
Richard Diglio, a security guard for the university, said there is no actual area designated for temporary parking.
“We check cars for stickers, and if they don’t belong in the lot, we call Security if it is after noon,” Diglio said.
At 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 27, Greg Cucinelli, sophomore computer information systems major, found a $10 ticket on his car, parked in the Westwoods lot.
“A security officer told me I could park there until noon,” Cucinelli said. “I am in the process of appealing the ticket.”
Unlike Cucinelli, some students’ vehicles will be towed if they are parked in an unassigned lot.
Richard Belanger, sophomore sports medicine major, found that his car had been towed after he left it in the South Lot overnight on a Thursday.
“I got up to move my car at 7 a.m. on Friday, only to find that it had already been towed,” Belanger said. “It was my fault, but to tow so early was kind of ridiculous.”
Many students face these types of problems and are baffled by the consequences.
The Parking Regulations booklet is available in the Security office on campus for those students that are concerned with parking restrictions.