University of New Hampshire students will face parking rule changes next semester after the final Transportation Policy Committee meeting of the year decided unanimously to pass enhanced restrictions.
Instead of being able to park for free at the lots after 6 p.m., it will be changed to 9 p.m.. On the weekends, the same hours will apply: 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.. The parking change will take effect in September.
Right now, students can park in all visitors’ lots after 6 p.m. on the weekdays and for free on the weekends. The resolution passed at the meeting last Friday after members of the UNH administration, members of the transportation department, UNH students, and Durham town officials voted to change the rules.
The visitor lots affected are the following: Mill Road Lot (C Lot) and the Sage Way Visitor Lot. The initial proposal was to include H Lot, but instead the measure will only impact the visitor lots.
“These are going to be rolled out in September,” Student Body President Jonathan Dean said. “For September, they’re going to be lightly enforced as more of an educational enforcement. A lot of students won’t really know the rule right off the bat…they’ll be more reminded and not just ticketed right away. They’re going to push for more education over the summer and educate students on the fact that all of the faculty and staff lots, the permit lots, at 6 o’clock they become open for free parking.”
“I just think a lot of students don’t know about them because students… have their classes and they have their lots that they park in and they kind of stay in their areas and don’t realize that there are other areas that they can go to park,” Dean said.
The Transportation Department and others attending took into consideration setting up signs for students who may not be aware of the other lots to park at, such as A and B Lot or the Alumni Center. The greatest concern was the issue of visitor and guest parking which had been brought to the attention of Dirk Timmons at the Transportation Department.
“In my mind, when students have an issue on campus, we go to administration and we ask them to negotiate changes with us. I understand parking is a huge issue for students, but administration really came to this committee meeting and came to the students and asked…this is an issue to us; our visitors are not having places to park. I think it’s respectful and appropriate for us to also come to the table and negotiate as well and find a solution that can work,” Dean said.
“I think it’s just silly when there already is an issue with students having to pay tickets,” sophomore psychology major Amerin McCall. “I really liked when I could go downtown around six either to the gym or the dining hall and park quickly to get in and out. Having people pay on weekends too is crazy to me. Most places have free parking on the weekends, why can’t we? How will I have people come visit me next year when I am living at Madbury Commons? It’s just another thing I am going to have to stress about when my friends or family come to visit.”