Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU students are finding empty parking spots to be a rare commodity this semester.

Due to an influx of new students and new building additions, many are arriving on campus only to find the lots closest to their classrooms have been filled to capacity.

This has been a major inconvenience for students, many of whom are having more and more difficulty making their first class on time and are seeing their commute time rapidly increasing.

The situation is made more difficult by the gridlock traffic on the Glades Road exit from I-95, between 9 and 11 a.m. Students can be stuck there for as long as half an hour. Many come into campus already slowed down, only to find more delays while searching for a place to park.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Kristina Vollaro, a senior Biology major. “I live five minutes away, but I have to leave my house forty-five minutes early to make class on time.” She added, “I’m taking upper-division courses, and many teachers don’t tolerate lateness.”

This inconvenience may be a sacrifice that students will have to make for a bigger university, according to Traffic and Parking Director Michelle Bolden. She cited campus growth as the main cause of limited parking spaces.

As FAU attempts to grow, it needs to attract more students. To do so, beautification and new buildings are needed. However, all of these factors decrease the amount of available parking, with each building covering what could be fifty to one hundred spots. This creates the problem of how to accommodate everyone.

Despite the addition of two new garages which house 1038 spaces, students are finding it harder to find parking in close proximity to the most commonly used buildings.

Unfortunately, there do not seem to be many feasible solutions to this problem. Having just spent over $18 million on the new garages, it is unlikely that the University would spend even more to add parking in the near future.

Campus transportation would also not alleviate the problem. FAU has attempted to provide a trolley service in the past but abandoned it after a short time. Most students preferred not to use it, since it did not offer direct access to central buildings such as GCS and often got stuck in campus traffic.

There are some things students can do to make their commute into campus a little easier, says Dolores Danser, associate director of the University Police Department.

According to Danser, students would likely have an easier time finding parking if they were more familiar with the layout of the campus. Many people tend to look for parking in areas they’re accustomed to without checking for newly available areas, some of which may be even closer to where they are trying to go. “There have been days when the garage by the Library is filled to capacity, while the one by Visual Arts has about ten cars parked in it,” she says.

However, the simplest solution, which is one the students will likely find hardest to swallow, was suggested by Bolden. She said that students will have to get used to leaving home earlier to make class on time. “It may be inconvenient,” she said, “but it’s also educational. It will help prepare people for the real world.”

Originally published 10.9.03

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