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Let’s Talk Parking

By Cameron Surette ‘18

Staff Writer

Last year, students had issues with finding available parking spaces; however, this year suggests improvement. Courtney Hill, Junior, is a commuter and used to be frustrated with parking. “This year’s parking has been better with having the assigned parking for resident students, but there are some days when there are events on campus during the day, and I still find it hard to find parking on the main campus. This is better than last year, though. When most days I would get to campus between 30 to 45 minutes before class and would still almost be late to class from trying to find parking.” The school was asked several questions about parking this year, and plenty of details were given as a result.

The school was asked several questions about parking. The first was, “what are the current plans to offer more parking to students and faculty?” According to the college, parking has been made available to faculty and staff on the grassy area along Route 114. This parking area is denoted as Lot M. The addition of these 200 spaces has made parking spaces available for other drivers. Furthermore, for specific dates, the grassy area in front of the Collegiate Church has been used for parking, too. Additionally, for events like Homecoming and Commencement, the school has agreements to use off-campus parking.

Dr. Lisa Perks of the Communication and Media department gave her opinion about parking; contrary to others. “I can always find parking. Sometimes I’m in lot A, sometimes I’m in the grass. I consider the perceived parking problem to be a walking problem—folks are usually not happy to walk across campus. They can find parking, but it’s not where they prefer that parking to be. At other schools, you can pay hundreds of dollars for parking and still have to walk over a mile or take a shuttle bus from your spot. Or you can pay for parking and not be guaranteed a spot anywhere. We have it good at Merrimack.”

Since more parking has been allotted to staff and faculty, the college stated other spaces have been made available. However, commuters seem to still have difficulty finding places to park. When asked about paved parking spaces, the school gave an answer that frustrated commuters are certain to like. The school is in the process of “formalizing” the grassy area next to Sullivan Hall as a commuter-only lot. This means signs and gravel will be added to this area. Once more, parking lots G and H are reserved for commuters only.

When asked about the demand for parking each year, the college stated that requests for parking varies each year.  As stated by the college, “The number of requests for parking on campus changes year to year. As we note every year, resident first- and second-year students should not normally expect to keep a car on campus; seniors and then juniors have priority.” Also, resident students who are permitted to park on campus have designated parking spaces; a new feature to parking added this year.

The school has provided a list of the parking spaces with specification to where they are and who they are reserved for:

Lot A (Collegiate Church) – commuters, faculty, staff visitors

Lot B (Austin Hall) – faculty, staff, visitors

Lot C (Sullivan Hall) – faculty, staff, visitors

Lot D (Welcome Center) – prospective students and families

Lot E (Rogers) – commuters, faculty, visitors

Lote F (MAC/Dunkin) – commuters, faculty, staff, visitors

Lot G (Deegan West) – commuters

Lot H (Sakowich) – commuters

Lot J (Hamel) – resident students

Lot K (Apartments) – resident students

Lot L (Innovation Center) – faculty, staff, visitors

Lot M (grassy area along Route 114) – faculty and staff

East Mill (North Andover) – resident students