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Parking services seeks remedy for Alumni Quad congestion

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There are roughly twice as many cars registered to Alumni Quad residents as there are student parking spots.

The issue of 130 students finding one of Alumni’s 72 parking spots is one that Parking and Mass Transit Services is seeking to remedy with several possible changes.

Director of PMTS Jason Jones said Wednesday that the department is eyeing land off of State Street to be turned into diagonal parking spots, and land south of the Sayles parking lot to possibly create 25 new spaces.

Parking at Alumni Quad and at the uptown campus has long been an issue that concerns students. Last October, Student Association leaders met with PMTS and negotiated 102 faculty parking spots at State Quad to be reassigned for student use.

Following the negotiation, PMTS established a student parking advisory board with representatives from undergraduate and graduate student associations, faculty, and facilities management.

Anna Agnes, one of SA’s parking advisory board members, said that Jones has been receptive at the board’s biweekly meetings.

“I think that he always cared, he just didn’t know how to go about communicating with us,” she said.

Though she said PMTS was doing well incorporating some of their ideas like using social media to put up parking announcements, Agnes said she doesn’t expect new Alumni parking spots to be finished any time soon.

“Construction takes so long here for everything,” said Agnes. “And I don’t know if the city would sell the land to them, so it may never happen.”

Alumni Quad resident Ashley Bagley said she would appreciate anything the school could do to alleviate the struggle to find a parking spot.

“It takes me like twenty minutes to find a parking spot,” said Bagley. “Ontario is usually full, so sometimes I park on Western; then it’s like, I don’t wanna park too close to the hydrant. It takes a long time.”

The recent closing off of O’Leary and Ontario for sewer upgrades took Bagley, a political science junior, by surprise.

“They should have some kind of action plan to figure out how to compensate us, because Albany could just dig up a hole and then be like yeah you guys can’t,” said Bagley, referring to parking.

Jones said in an email Wednesday that one idea for compensation was parking registration fee reductions for Alumni residents.

“That would give Alumni students the opportunity to leave their vehicles on the uptown campus at a reduced or zero dollar parking registration fee in attempt to alleviate parking pressure in that Alumni location,” Jones said.

Agnes said she felt this, along with PMTS encouraging students to use bikes or public transport, were only temporary solutions.

“It’s really hard to tell kids that they can’t have a car because they’re away from home. They need to be able to get home and get to campus,” she said. “They have to figure out some way to get more parking for those people.”

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Joe Hoffman is the managing editor for the Albany Student Press.

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