Each year at Purdue, some students pay more than $100 to obtain a parking permit on campus, even though they often struggle to find a place to park.
According to Ben Dispennett, director of parking and transportation at Purdue, the C-permit parking requirements and lot closures have remained consistent from past years.
“Parking lot closures are posted days in advance, and email reminders are sent out to permit holders,” Dispennett said.
Despite the notice, some students have still dealt firsthand with the impediment of lot closures.
Eoghan McCroskey, a graduate student in the College of Science, has felt the frustration of campus parking.
“My most recent experience with campus parking has been nearly getting my car towed last month for parking in the portion of the (Córdova Recreational Sports Center) parking lot that was designated as a tow-away zone after 2 p.m. on Friday,” McCroskey said.
His car was only seconds from being taken away, he said, and he had to pay a $35 dollar fee to get it released — even though it hadn’t been towed yet. McCroskey is in the process of appealing the fee.
Students are supposed to be made aware of lot closures before they occur according to Dispennett, but in the case of McCroskey, he didn’t see the notice until it was almost too late.
According to McCroskey, there was no notification of the changes other than a hidden sign in the lot stating the cars would be towed after 2 p.m., which he missed in his morning commute.
After his incident, McCroskey said he noticed the University started to send emails notifying students of the game day closures to the lots. Since then he felt the communication to students has improved, though it is still frustrating.
“The signage, at least for now, has also gotten much better, to their credit,” McCroskey said. “It could be just coincidence, but I would like to think that exemplifies when issues like this happen, you should not just accept it quietly, as it calls out shortcomings that need to be addressed and, if nothing else, you can warn others away from the same situation.”
Noah Stover, a senior in the College of Engineering, has experienced similar difficulty with parking on campus.
Stover had difficulties with parking at the same Co-Rec parking lot as McCroskey, and he was also caught off guard by changes to the lot without prior notice.
He was headed to class early one morning when he found that the lot, where he usually parks, was blocked off for a career fair event without any warning.
“I had to find different parking arrangements for that day, which was very inconvenient, to say the least,” Stover said.
This occurrence was just one part of what Stover felt was a bigger issue, he said.
“That’s kind of a regular occurrence,” Stover said. “We occasionally get emails that say, ‘Hey, parking won’t be available at these times or these locations,’ but more often than not we just show up and it’s blocked off.”
However, Dispennett said the closures to lots have been minor.
“Several construction projects continue to impact available parking supply for all campus parkers but have been relatively small,” Dispennett said.
The two students also discussed the lengths they sometimes go to when they are unable to find parking spaces close to campus.
It is difficult to find any parking spaces within close distance to the university, McCroskey said. On a typical day he ends up parking at the airport lot, because the C lot by the Co-Rec lot usually fills up very early in the morning.
“I’ve learned that if you don’t go early in the morning, you have to just go straight to the back of the lot and park, as the odds of finding an open parking space in the best spots are slim,” McCroskey said.
Stover also explained the different things that he and others have to do when they are unable to find space in the designated lots.
“I have friends who go to two hour parking and just sit there and take the ticket, some people just park there anyway and get towed,” Stover said.
While Stover gets to campus early he usually doesn’t have a problem, but the lots are almost always full by 11 a.m. He can see how anyone with afternoon classes would be out of luck.
With the coming winter months, Stover said he certainly doesn’t foresee the problem getting any better, and he expressed frustration at paying over $100 for a spot and still being unable to find parking.
McCroskey also mirrored Stover’s frustration in wishing the University perceived student parking as a bigger priority.
He stressed the importance of Purdue making sure paid parking spots, such as the C permit lots, are not taken by visitors to the campus, noting how there are scarcely enough parking spots for students as is, in his opinion.