Snow causes parking problems for commuters

Lauren Frankovich

Monica Milosovic was 10 minutes late to her first class of the new semester Thursday afternoon.

No, the graduate student in special education didn’t have trouble finding her classroom. She couldn’t find a place to park in her designated lot and was forced to park illegally.

“It was a battle,” she said.

Milosovic said she had not had this problem during the fall semester, but the snow now covering the ground causes inefficient parking and poses a problem for commuter students.

In some cases, 10 percent of campus parking is lost because space lines are covered, and corner and end spots are lost because of snow piles, said Randy Ristow, Parking Services manager.

Hallie DelVillan, freshman architecture major, parks at Summit East and said snow “just seems to get in the way.”

Snow is piled around the posts, and some students park in handicapped parking spaces because the snow prohibits them from seeing the lines, she said.

During the winter months, Parking Services plans to take care of problems relating to snow as quickly as possible to accommodate commuter students, but “mother nature wins most of the time,” Ristow said.

He said the parking lots are plowed, and snow is hauled away so the lots can be salted.

“We try to get them plowed and cleared as quickly as we can,” he said.

Ristow said problems related to snow vary between lots. There are usually more problems in smaller lots.

Parking Services uses an outside contractor to plow the parking lots. At least 10 snowplows must be available on a given day, Ristow said. Sometimes 12 to 15 trucks are out depending on availability.

Parking Services has two trucks in its department that it uses to catch smaller areas in the lots such as piles at the ends of rows, Ristow said.

The lots were plowed over break to keep up with the snowfall, he said.

When parking, students need to start the rows out right and use common sense, said Ristow. A typical parking space is 8 1/2 feet by 9 feet.

He said there aren’t more parking tickets given out during the winter months, but Parking Services will not hesitate to see if a proper permit is displayed by brushing snow off the windshields of cars.

“We still expect people to follow regulation even during the nasty weather,” Ristow said.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].