Updated: Sep 28
Students and staff who attended Salisbury University in person during the height of COVID-19 may remember an abundance of empty parking spaces across campus.
However, the return of a thriving campus community in fall 2021 also saw the return of a familiar and unpleasant sight — crowded parking lots.
Registration for parking permits this year are consistent with figures from before COVID, according to Cashier’s Office and Parking Services Supervisor Stacie Malone.
There are “no other places where [SU] can go” to expand parking, according to Malone.
With no changes in the foreseeable future, how can campus community members adapt to the overcrowded status quo?
Off-campus students at University Park, The Flatts Salisbury, The Gathering and University Orchard can use the university shuttle system. The schedule and stops can be found at SU’s Motor Pool Shuttle Schedule webpage.
Another option for those in off-campus communities is to carpool with roommates who have similar class schedules.
Staff and faculty who live close to one another and share similar work schedules can use the park and ride lot on Ocean Gateway.
On-campus students can use bikes, skateboards and scooters to commute across campus.
Those who intend on parking should arrive early as possible to find a space, according to Malone.
These options can help manage parking congestion during peak hours and are a preferable alternative to circling lots while trying to get to class or work.
Reducing the number of cars on campus also reduces SU’s negative impact on the environment.
“A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year,” according to The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Alternative commuting methods help students and staff avoid parking tickets. Tickets are issued to vehicles parked without a given location's pass or without one altogether.
Parking Services issued 76 tickets in only three days from Sept. 1-3, according to Malone.
Choosing to park without proper registration is a disservice to students who obtain a pass because they live further from campus.
Abundant parking space is unlikely to return in the future. However, conditions could improve if more SU commuters consider alternative traveling methods.
By JACOB BEAVER
Featured photos courtesy of Jacob Beaver