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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Campus Transportation System Altered

    Students will return this fall to find changes in the parking zones all around campus. While officials from the Administration say the adoption has been implemented to alleviate traffic and become environmentally friendly, some students are concerned with the changes in their parking routine.

    “We are trying to make transportation more efficient around Circle Road and Toll Road, where safety can be enhanced,” said Barbara Chernow, vice-president of Facilities and Services. “The changes are also made to support the ‘carbon footprint.'” President Kenny is one of the signatories on the “American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.” Campuses nationwide have signed this agreement, which pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emission over time.

    One of the major changes affects residents, who will now be assigned permits only for the zones surrounding their area of residence. Previously, residents were able to park anywhere around campus designated as a resident parking lot. “The zones will have enough spaces for everyone that needs them,” said James O’ Connor, director of Transportation and Parking Operations. But from now on students can also expect to pay twice what they would have last year for parking in the wrong zone. Tickets for this offense rose from 30 dollars to 60 dollars.

    “There is no way that there is enough parking in Tabler,” said Tabler resident Christian Videbaek, “the main lot is faculty only now, and the people from Cardozo will be parking there too.”

    The Tabler surface parking lot will now be allotted for faculty/staff, whereas before, residents could park in the area as well. Students from Roth Quad who used to park in the area will now be able to park in the faculty/staff area that was around Roth. “Roth residents will now have closer access to their building. Before, those spots were reserved for faculty,” said O’Connor.

    For those who live further from the main campus, more efficient bus routes have been implemented. “Many students from West would park in Mendelsohn in order to get to class,” said Chernow. “We are hoping that they will now take the bus and keep traffic down during the day.”

    A new inner loop bus route has been established for West, Roosevelt, and Kelly residents, and will have frequent runs only between these dormitories and the Student Activities Center. The outer loop bus now incorporates the Union and Health Sciences designations along with H-quad, and goes around the West Apartments as well.

    “You always want to use the bus from West because it’s such a long walk to main campus,” said West resident Jennifer Traditi. “Sometimes I would choose to walk because you would have to wait for a long time or be on the bus for a while because the route was too long. More people will take the bus now because the new route is not as long.”

    A major concern was the crosswalk between the library and the Student Union, which caused backups for cars and disrupted buses from running on a timely schedule. To solve this problem, a new Union bus stop has been placed adjacent to the Union and across from the Staller Center.

    “I think it’s great because the outer loop takes us all around campus and to the Union, but I can always take the new inner loop when I just need to get to main campus,” said West resident Sara Nik. “The new Union bus stop will probably run more on time without the back up at the crosswalk.”

    “The parking lot across from Mendelsohn [the Administration Overflow parking lot] will now have all parking spaces available for faculty/staff, whereas last year there was a small section that was metered,” said Chernow. “This caused confusion and now metered parking will be larger and across the street for anyone that needs it, and visitors will be closer to the Wang Center. It’s more appropriate.”

    The new metered lot features 60 parking spaces south of the Mendelsohn and H-Quad parking lots. And while there are more spaces for visitors and commuters to park, metered parking will cost them more per minute. Last year, the metered parking was charged a rate of 25 cents for 15 minutes. It now costs 25 cents for 10 minutes.

    “The price of meters has gone up because it has not been changed for over a decade, and there have been substantial increases in costs associated with maintaining the safety levels within these parking areas,” said O’Connor. “Specifically, there has been an increase in costs for asphalt/roadway repairs, re-striping, lighting and [sign] repairs needed to keep these areas safe and in working condition.”

    The stadium parking lot also includes additional metered parking based on a “first-come, first-serve” idea. 60 percent of the parking spots are still reserved for the premium parking tag holders.

    “During the day you would find empty spots because everyone has different schedules,” said Chernow. “With metered parking we can make use of those empty spots. There were 450 premium hang tags available and we would have a waiting list with over five hundred students. Now students can try to get open spots in a first-come, first- serve kind of basis.”

    Premium parking tags cost 150 dollars a year. On the other hand, it is free to register for commuter and residential parking. “Some of the other SUNY schools like Geneseo cost 75 dollars to register your car,” said Chernow. “Cornell charges 1000 [dollars].”

    Some students, however, are skeptical about the benefits of new campus parking.

    “It’s pretty obvious this has nothing to do with the students — it’s just another way for the university to make money,” said a senior who wished to remain anonymous. “If it was about students, they wouldn’t have cut most of the stadium parking lots to create a new metered lot, with increased meter fees. That’s not how you help students. If you’re going to do anything, increase the number of free spaces available.”

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