By MARIE ROPER
The Office of Parking Management recently announced new parking regulations for the academic year. A change from past years, students will now be unable to park on the resident side of College Avenue, as that parking is reserved for Fredericksburg residents. However, some two-hour parking is permitted where posted along College Avenue.
CJ Porter, the director of Transfer and Off-Campus Student Services, said that parking on campus can sometimes be a challenge. “I hardly know where to park myself,” she said. But, she said parking at UMW has gotten better over the years, and she understands the need for the new regulations. “Parking has been always a challenge, and I have not heard everyone being happy with parking on campus. However, parking, in general, is a challenge everywhere.”
Porter also said that faculty members have an easier job parking on campus than students, in part because professors are sometimes permitted to park on the residence side of College Avenue.
English and Communications Professor Elizabeth Johnson-Young said she is not usually concerned with parking because she lives near enough to campus to walk. She said there are times when she has to park a block away from her house because of students parking in residential areas, but she is not bothered by the inconvenience.
CJ Porter said the university is bound by Fredericksburg’s city ordinances, which set the new parking regulations. Even without the added guidelines for College Avenue, commuter parking is already heavily restricted. Section 58-173 of the City Code of Ordinances specifically prohibits UMW commuters from parking on an alphabet soup of nearby streets — from Adams to William. Excluding College Avenue, 37 streets are at least partly off-limits to commuter students between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Junior English majors Alena Sigsby and Charlotte Brehmer said the City of Fredericksburg should do more to help UMW with parking given that it enjoys the benefits of a college town.
“If they are going to restrict the students to not park on the resident’s side of college avenue, they should cut down the fee or allow commuter students to be able to park in near[by] parking lots to have a better access to their class buildings,” said Sigsby.
“They need to come up with an alternative space for those students that relied on parking on College Avenue,” agreed Brehmer.
Gabriela Acuna, a senior business administration major, expressed a similar sentiment. “Parking on campus could probably improve if UMW would get more support from the city’s residents,” Acuna said.
Some students have had little difficulty adjusting to the new parking regulations.
“I always park at the same place, Thornton Street, early in the morning, so I do not have a problem with parking,” said senior business administration major Yuleiny Garcia. She said the only problem she faces is the far distance from commuter designated parking to the main campus.
The Office of Parking Management is located in Lee Hall in 201B. Specific parking questions should be directed to parking manager Jean Elliott.