Rowan expands parking for commuter students

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Instead of struggling for parking, Rowan Public Safety hopes students will have an easier time finding a spot now that both residents and commuters can park in the same lots.

On Aug. 29, 2016 the president’s office sent out an e-mail to Rowan students announcing it has expanded student parking by combining resident and commuter lots and adding more parking throughout campus.

The e-mail also explained students can park in employee lots after 4:30 p.m. Opening on Sept. 9, one new parking lot has been added on Ellis Street in Glassboro, which provides parking for 222 more cars. There are plans to expand this lot to 600 spaces in the future, Vice President of University Relations Joe Cardona said.

The other remote lot location, located at the South Jersey Technology Park on West Campus, allows for 150 more cars.

In order to accommodate students who park in these locations, the university has expanded shuttle services and created an express shuttle service which will run between the lots and the Chamberlain Student Center only.

Presently a commuter, junior marketing major Jenna Dickinson, who commutes from Sicklerville, said the change is a good thing. Dickinson explained she often had to come hours early to Rowan just to find a spot. She’s been ticketed twice in the past because she chose to park in a resident lot after she was unable to find parking in commuter lots.

“Although the changes are good, it’s not enough,” Dickinson said. “They should build a garage just for commuters, because there’s so many of us. But I know then they’d have to charge for it.”

In her first year as a commuter, junior history and philosophy dual major Emily Grenier said she was initially nervous about parking as a commuter because she had heard it was difficult. Grenier commutes from Woodstown, and echoed Dickinson’s call for a parking garage for commuters.

“I still came at eight this morning so I didn’t have to struggle for parking, and there were already a lot of people here,” she said.

Cardona acknowledged the university is in a great time of expansion – he said it has expanded by 7,000 students in the past six years.

“It’s a matter of balancing convenience with cost,” Cardona said in response to the potential of a commuter-specific parking garage, which the university is not currently planning on building.

He said if the new shuttle system works as hoped, using the remote lots and taking a shuttle will end up faster than trying to find a spot directly on campus.

Public Safety will be conducting what Cardona described as “lot surveys” near the end of this week and next to better understand parking lot use patterns. From there, Public Safety will address further student parking concerns.

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