Today: Jun 25, 2024

Parking at Southern is a little more than complicated

The new parking garage on Wintergreen.

Aaron JohnsonGeneral Assignment Reporter

    NEW HAVEN – When my dad came into the room this summer and handed me the keys to my grandmother’s 1998 Ford Escort I nearly jumped out of my socks. I will be the first one to tell you how ecstatic I was. I’ve had my license for nearly two years and this was going to be my first car. Obviously the excitement of getting your first car is one of the best experiences of any person’s life, but I was ill prepared for some of the things — responsibilities — that come with that.

    The biggest issue that I have had with driving my car is something that can be all too familiar to some drivers around campus. That common issue of finding a place to park my car. Now I’ll be the first person to say that I am absolutely terrible at parking. I do not know why but for the life of me parking is the worst part of my driving abilities. So when I came to campus this semester I knew that it was going to be a hassle to find parking any where near my building, Schwartz Hall.

    The first instance of parking woes that I faced this semester was the first day I was even on campus during move-in day. The terrible experience that was move-in day has turned into a full blown nightmare as the semester continues, fully equipped with a little blue motorcycle I swear is driven by Freddy Krueger just to torture the drivers of Schwartz. The time I’ve spent driving around the back of my building in search of a spot that just does not exist has been ridiculous.

The new parking garage on Wintergreen.
The new parking garage on Wintergreen Ave.

    However, putting aside the terrible time I’ve had trying to find parking behind my building, the parking on campus for students is not too bad. Actually I’ll rephrase that, parking for student that live on campus is not too bad. I’ve heard — like most of us — my share of commuter horror stories about finding different places to park around campus.

    I do think that the new parking garage on Wintergreen Avenue will take away some of those horror stories. The building was officially opened on July 17, 2013 and it is located right next to Moore Field House and Jess Dow Field. It replaces one of the surface parking lots behind Wilkinson Hall, which is being turned into an outdoor basketball court, something that I am incredibly excited about.

    But according to the press release, Southern is making an effort toward campus sustainability with this new lot. The garage is fitted with energy-efficient LED lighting and three charging stations for electric vehicles. The charging devices are 220 volts, which will fully charge an electric vehicle in four hours. I do not know too many students with electric vehicles but that still is a good thing to have if you’re talking sustainability. Students can pay for recharging their vehicles with their Hoot Loot cards.

    When my dad handed me the keys to my first car this summer, I was happy. Actually I was overjoyed. But that joy soon turned to frustration after my first parking ticket from the city of New Haven not even two weeks later. Obviously I need to work on my parking as a driver — I honestly am getting better by the way — but I feel like I am a professional at the art of “search and not finding” when it comes to parking. There is only so much that Southern can do, but maybe banning little blue motorcycles would be a good start.

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