QU spends $72K on second North Lot exit gate


Peyton McKenzie

A student-led parking consultant team recommended last spring that university officials install an additional exit gate and directional signage in North Lot.

Cat Murphy, Associate News Editor

Amid continuous on-campus parking lot congestion, Quinnipiac University officials opened an additional exit gate at the east end of North Lot.

A student-led parking consultant team suggested last year that university officials add a second exit in North Lot to ease congestion in the parking lot, according to a March 20 email from Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett.

John Morgan, associate vice president of public relations, confirmed in an email statement to the Chronicle on March 28 that the group of graduate business administration students recommended the addition of another exit gate in North Lot after analyzing Quinnipiac parking during the spring 2022 semester.

“The new gate was installed at the far eastern corner of North Lot earlier this month to manage one-way exiting traffic,” Morgan wrote. “We believe the new gate and the other changes we’ve implemented have improved traffic flow, reduced congestion within the parking lot and decreased traffic buildup along Mount Carmel Avenue during peak hours.”

Thomas Peters, president of the class of 2025, spearheaded the Student Government Association’s initiative to implement a second exit in North Lot.

“After I was first elected to the student government, a professor of mine sarcastically said, ‘fix parking,’” wrote Peters, a sophomore political science major, in an email statement to the Chronicle on March 24. “I recognized that their sarcasm was mixed with frustration and, as a commuter myself, I understood their feelings directly.”

Peters expressed particular frustration with the constant delays students face attempting to navigate North Lot.

“From the same daily troubles of circling to find a spot, arriving at class on time, and just attempting to leave North Lot in a timely manner, it was a plain burden,” Peters wrote. “Sometimes, I found the wait just to exit was longer than my commute.”

Other commuters echoed Peters’ frustrations.

“The main entrance always is backed up, no matter what time you basically come here,” said Diana Latko, a first-year nursing major who commutes from Bristol, Connecticut.

The new gate, which university officials installed at an exit that had previously been chained off, enables drivers to exit the far end of North Lot onto Mount Carmel Avenue.

“I was always annoyed parking over there that I couldn’t go out that way,” said Deveney Paine, a senior 3+1 advertising and integrated communications and graphic and interactive design double major. “So, in that sense, I think it’s helpful.”

However, the electronic gate is designed to prevent drivers from entering North Lot to ensure that all vehicular traffic continues to stop at the Public Safety booth at the parking lot’s main entrance.

“I wanted to go beyond the old approach of just advocating for more parking spaces and present a tangible solution to make parking easier, safer, and more efficient for North Lot drivers,” Peters wrote.

The electronic gate hardware and associated electrical and mechanical work cost Quinnipiac approximately $72,000, according to the building and electrical permits that contractor ADF Electric Inc. filed on the university’s behalf in January 2023.

The new gate initiative garnered mixed reactions among students.

“I get the concept of wanting to have another way out,” Paine said. “But I feel like there were other solutions that would have been a lot cheaper.”

Latko endorsed the new gate initiative, though she added that she did not expect it to “magically” resolve the everyday parking and traffic issues typical of North Lot.

“I think it’s probably useful — coming from a commuter — because the traffic can be terrible,” Latko said. “But I mean, that amount of money could be spent toward so many other, better things.”

Daniel Maher, a senior political science major who commutes to campus, said he supported the addition of a new gate but emphasized his frustrations with additional student parking concerns.

“It doesn’t seem like the worst use of school funds,” Maher said. “But there are other parking issues that are of greater priority.”

The student-led parking consultant group also recommended the addition of directional signage in North Lot, which Morgan said university officials will consider in the future.

“While I recognize the gate is only a partial solution to the overall issue, I believe it will improve upon the daily struggles of many students,” Peters wrote. “I am excited to see it in action in the weeks ahead, and I am hopeful it will relieve the headaches caused by current traffic flows.”