Lot 29: The 400-Spot Savior

Commuters receive more parking in the new lot by Walker

By Tahsin Khan

Senior Staff Writer

tkhan3@umbc.edu

Summary: Each year, UMBC receives countless requests from students for more parking spaces on campus. This Fall 2014 semester welcomes students with the gift of a new Lot 29 by Walker apartments.

    Parking has always been a headache for UMBC’s many commuters. With the removal of about 100 spaces from UMBC Boulevard, some feel that the on-campus parking dilemma has worsened. Although parking for Zone A permits is a pain, students just need to know of the right places to look for spots.

Some feel frustrated by the chaotic parking situation on campus. “[The] Hunger Games should be about the college commuters trying to find parking after 9 AM,” said Markus Proctor, a junior interdisciplinary studies major, “I think we have more commuters this semester; thus, competition for the space in between the white lines is more intense.”

Due to the myriad of construction projects on campus and the loss of parking on UMBC Boulevard, Facilities Management has tried to solve the parking problems by developing a new Lot 29 by Walker Apartments. Electrical and landscaping work is not yet complete, but it is available for student use.

On top of the remaining 2,807 Zone A spaces, Lot 29 adds 400 spaces for commuters. However, there are some students, like Proctor, who are completely unaware of the new lot.

Junior biology major, Pari Majethia says, “I know about Lot 29, but I haven’t gone there yet.” Many students may be going in circles looking for parking, because they do not know of the new lot nor where it is located.

Communication is the issue. On top of setting up signage to indicate the new lot, UMBC should have sent out more emails to the student body specifically informing them about Lot 29, and they should have done it before the semester started.

It also would have been beneficial to make this announcement via a spotlight on myUMBC. There are more than enough parking spaces on campus for the growing number of commuters, and although students should give enough time to find these spots, the administration needs to lend a hand in pointing out the location of the new lot.

A concern that rises from the incomplete Lot 29 is safety. Since the electrical work is not yet complete, there could be visibility issues for students utilizing the lot at night. People could feel more vulnerable.

Facilities Management expects all the work to be complete by the end of September. Until then, it should be noted that everyone needs to be mindful of their surroundings and take the necessary precautions when using the lot at night.

Until there is a five-story parking garage added to each academic building, the ongoing parking issues may never be resolved in the eyes of commuters. Nonetheless, UMBC has done its part in expanding Zone A parking. The only thing left is Lot 29’s completion and posting signs identifying its location. From there, students should just spend a few extra minutes to look for an available spot.