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No Quick Remedy for Parking Woes on Alumni Quad

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There isn’t a short term fix expected to reduce tight parking on Alumni Quad.

Student parking is at max capacity most weeknights, sometimes pushing students to move into street parking. As of now, there are over 70 student spots total, lower than any residence hall at the University at Albany.

Isaac August, a junior chemistry student, often arrives at Alumni Quad from work after 11 p.m.. According to Parking & Mass Transit Services, lot parking is often at maximum capacity between 6 p.m. to 9 a.m..

“There’s not enough parking space so sometimes when I come home from work, I will park all the way down the street,” said August.

Potential parking solutions are currently being evaluated by Facilities Management as part of an overall study of Alumni Quad.  

“We’re thinking of any idea of finding parking wherever whether it’s talking to the City about bumping sidewalks or going diagnonal or finding some land some land somewhere,” said John Giarrusso, vice president of Facilities Management. “We don’t know but it’s a vexing challenge to us.”

Jason Jones, director of Parking and Mass Transit Services, is hopeful that the university will find a solution to expand parking on Alumni Quad within the next two to five years.

PMTS has eyed potential green space nearby to build an extra lot. This will not be a short term solution, Jones said.

“We definitely understand parking is a challenge at Alumni Quad and has been for many, many years but solutions are limited,” said Jones in an email. “But as you can see we are dedicated to fixing this challenge through focus groups, studies, and regular[ly] meeting with the City [of Albany].”

PMTS floated the idea of a “parking lottery” with Alumni Quad students. The idea was rejected by residents.

The closest remedies to parking as now, Jones said, are public transit, ZIPCAR, and bike sharing.

Free public transportation through the university and CDTA doesn’t ease student’s demands on Alumni Quad, said Haven Hutchinson, former Student Association Alumni Quad senator.

“The only problem with that is that a lot of the constituents at Alumni are transfers so they have vehicles prior,” he said. “And usually when you have the option to have a vehicle here in Albany ― you take it.”

Last year, Alumni Quad was home to over 800 transfer, international, and continuing students. It’s unclear how many students on Alumni Quad have parking permits. PMTS doesn’t collect data per quad.

As an Alumni Quad representative last year, Hutchinson was approached with parking complaints from residents, namely over ticketing. Partridge St., located next to Alumni Quad, is ticketed from 9 – 2 a.m. on Thursday (facing Alumni Quad) and Friday (facing Albany High School).

 

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