KIRSTEN ADAIR | STAFF REPORTER
Sophomores with B-lot parking passes have been relocating to I-lot since the beginning of first semester due to a lack of parking spots.
“I have had some issues,” sophomore strategic-communications major Alicia DiMaccio said. “[Construction] has made it far more difficult to find spots in B-lot, for sure, but I feel like that first week if you went quite early and sealed a spot before other people on campus, people were kind of forced to I-lot.”
Butler University Police Chief Bill Weber said he encourages people who cannot find open spots to park at Hinkle or I-lot. Even though parking near Ross and ResCo can be scarce, he said he often sees empty spaces near Fairbanks and Schwitzer.
“When I go home, I look as I drive through those lots, and I am always amazed at the number of open B residence hall permit [spots] that are available,” he said.
Even though those spots offer a small solution, they are not the answer that some students who want to park near their residence halls are looking for.
DiMaccio said parking was difficult before construction, but since part of the ResCo parking lot was closed and demolished for the new dorm, finding an available spot has become even harder.
Earlier this semester, DiMaccio received a handicap pass for a back injury. She said there were times when she could not find parking spots despite having a handicap pass because people who did not have handicap passes parked in those spots.
“It’s not fair because the person did get a handicap pass for a reason,” DiMaccio said.
“It was because they were unable to risk parking elsewhere or farther away because maybe it was going to hurt their injury or maybe it was going to become an issue for them. Whatever the reason was, they got it for a reason and they aren’t getting their money’s worth or their spot, and because of what they’re going through I feel like that’s kind of a shame.”
The timing of the construction is difficult because of the work on Sunset and the building of both the parking garage and the new dorm, but Weber said that construction on the dorm cannot be delayed or it will not be ready for students to live in by 2016. He does understand students’ frustrations, however.
“Like any other time, with progress comes growing pains,” he said.
He explained that faculty, staff, and commuters will generally be able to park north of campus in the parking garage after it opens, opening more spots at the south end of campus closer to student housing.
The location of B-lot parking is one of the biggest inconveniences about its current downsize. B-lot allows students with that pass to park near Ross Hall, Schwitzer Hall and Residential College, the three main housing options for underclassmen.
“B-lot is definitely a much more underclassmen choice, but because of that I feel like it has a few issues because a lot of underclassmen, especially sophomores, are very bothered by the lack of parking right now because that takes away a lot of spots from what was granted to us,” DiMaccio said.
She said students expected parking would be restricted once construction on the new dorm started, but she is disappointed that Butler has not offered any significant replacement for the parking lot and the displaced cars that paid $200 for B-passes are forced to park elsewhere.
Students knew about the construction beforehand, so they were aware of the possibility that parking would be taken away and problems could arise because of the work. DiMaccio said that students are partly to blame for the situation for not thinking ahead.
Although the intention was always clear, DiMaccio said students were still hoping that the university would provide a substitution or exchange of some sort. She said that while she does not know how, she hopes Butler can offer alternative parking near campus for B-lot students who were forced out of their spots.
“There are no other options,” she said about parking on campus near her dorm. “We just took what was available, knowing that it was eventually going to be taken away. We really couldn’t do anything about it. We needed the spots.”
Ted Bowrey, a freshman pharmacy major who lives in Ross Hall and has B-lot parking, has problems with parking as well. He said driving to the tennis bubble first semester for his beginning tennis class was difficult, not because of the drive, but because of parking.
“The only thought on my mind when I was coming back would not be class for the rest of the day,” he said. “It would be, ‘OK, where can I park?’”
Bowery said when friends come to visit him he does not know where to tell them to park, and he thinks that B-parking was oversold at the beginning of the year. He said that, although he is usually able to find a place to park, he would like to see a few more spots open around his dorm.
“Living at Ross, I don’t want to park over at Schwitz.”