UConn Parking Services has recently announced changes coming to student parking through the Daily Digest. According to the announcement, there will now be restrictions on overnight parking from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. in “F-lot, W-lot, Y/8 lot and Commuter parking locations throughout the Horsebarn Hill area” starting this upcoming academic year.
The lack of sufficient parking space for a growing student population is a problem at UConn that has been well documented and repeatedly commented on by this Editorial Board. Permits are not required for parking in many areas after 5 p.m. and it is currently very common for students to take advantage. Not only parking in these areas after 5 p.m. and potentially well into the early hours of the morning if they are on campus to study in the library or for meetings, but also parking overnight when visiting friends in areas of campus where they do not have the permits to do so. It is also common for students’ guests visiting campus overnight to take advantage of this option for free. As long as students or guests without the relevant permits leave those areas before a certain time in the morning, they will not be ticketed.
In the Daily Digest announcement, Parking Services cited “concerns expressed by commuter student parkers” as inspiring the change. No specifics of these concerns have yet been given, although the Daily Campus news department is looking into the situation in more detail. It is likely, and very fair, that commuter students were concerned about students without the proper permits parking overnight and not moving their cars in time come the morning; resulting in a lack of available parking spaces and commuter students not being able to park in spots in the lots they paid for.
This all speaks to the greater parking problem at UConn. The Daily Digest announcement did note that overnight parking would still be available in C-lot and J-lot, which is opening with 150 new spaces on Discovery Drive before this fall. While it is good students will have this new option, it is very far from the center of campus. Parking Services and future UConn master plans must continue to address the lack of parking as a whole, and continue with alerting students of this change before the fall to avoid confusion.