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Jurassic PARKing

Photo Courtesy of Google Images
Photo Courtesy of Google Images


This week, I found myself in a place I had hoped I’d never have to be in my four years here at Roanoke College. This week, I found myself sitting in the office of the Director of Campus Safety. Fortunately for me, this wasn’t to discuss any kind of infraction on my part, but rather to talk about the current status of parking here on campus.

Senior and on-campus resident, Holly Belcher said, “There’s a serious problem with one half of campus.” Belcher mentions that the most serious parking problem is found for commuters and those that live on the South side of campus.

Some commuters that arrive to campus later in the day find that they cannot find any available spots, leaving them to have to take their chances with City of Salem free parking. This is a problem because these commuters pay the same price for a parking pass as a residential student but do not always get to park on campus property. Those that live on the South side of campus may find that they have to trek all the way to the edge of the campus at the Hawthorn lot to find a spot.

As I sit in his office, Thomas Rambo, Director of Campus Safety explains the issue further. Rambo explains  that there should be a multitude of spots available for residential students, but they may not be what one would consider prime parking. Belcher echoes that idea, “There’s a difference in being lazy and there actually being a problem.”

Rambo does admit that parking at Roanoke does have its flaws. When the college is the host of an event that would bring in outside members of the community, those individuals need a place to park and it’s the office of Campus Safety to ensure that those spaces exist. With that strain, coupled with the loss of the Bowman lot to construction, as well as construction requiring a certain number of spaces, it is no shock that there are issues with parking.

The solution to this issue is already underway. In spring 2016, the Cregger Center is slated to be complete. This will not only mean the release of the spots being taken up by construction workers, but the development of a new parking lot. In the meantime, Thomas Rambo asks for tolerance, “We want people to be patient with this growing pain.” He advises individuals to plan ahead by looking at the event schedule for events that may bring in those from off campus and to plan accordingly on those days.