Students seek short-term parking solutions on campus

By Jesseca Muslin / Staff Writer

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When Mike Green received his third parking ticket for parking his car while he worked out, he decided something needed to be done. 

Green, a sophomore majoring in psychology and sociology, lives on Parkview Avenue and doesn’t have time between classes and extracurricular activities to make the long hike to the upper campus facilities. 

He wants to drive his car, but the high cost to park in the lots and of getting a ticket deter him from doing so. The OC lot, located on Allequippa Street near Trees Hall, has a $7 all-day rate. According to Pitt’s Parking, Transportation and Services’ website, parking permits for resident students are limited, so a lottery designates spaces. Permits for outdoor lots, including the OC lot, cost $680 per academic year, while garages are $736. Parking permits are also available semesterly for commuter students at the same rates. 

He knows other students who commute or live off-campus experience the same problems that he does, so he created a petition on to address the situation and garner support for a change.

“Opening up free short-term parking will allow students to access the facilities more easily, helping to encourage a healthy lifestyle — something I am sure Pitt holds in high esteem,” Green said. 

Green hopes to get at least 100 signatures on his petition, which he posted on Nov. 26. The petition had 49 signatures at the time of publication.

He said although the gym facilities are free for all Pitt students, the costs for commuters and those who reside off-campus to use their cars to utilize the gyms are not worth it. 

“The costs associated with parking far exceed the cost of getting a membership at another fitness facility,” Green said. “Four to $5 for parking each day, or $25 for each parking ticket.”

Green said he has not been in contact with anyone from Pitt’s administration because he believes it will be more effective if he could first build support for the petition and then take it with him, to show that his opinion is supported by his peers. 

Pitt spokesman John Fedele said that, given the vague nature of the information in the petition,such things as a timetable and budget are impossible to gauge at this point, but a representative from the parking office told him they would look into the suggestion. 

Trevor Beierschmitt, a senior majoring in political science, signed the petition and agrees that making more parking for students near the fitness centers should be a priority.

“Too often, students must skip the gym due to inclement weather, [for example,] the polar vortex, making it unsafe to walk to the gym,” Beierschmitt said, referring to last year’s winter weather. 

Beierschmitt said the Pitt administration would be doing the right thing for students if it acted on this petition. 

“By creating temporary parking near the fitness facilities,” Beierschmitt said, “Pitt would better serve its off-campus residents’ needs and save them the hassle, cost and limited availability of street parking.” 

Green said the OC lot would be a good place to utilize short-term parking. He added that there should be enough parking space for faculty, students going to the fitness center and students who live on upper campus. 

“Generally, it [the OC lot] does not seem to be filled to capacity and is very close to both Trees Hall and the Baierl Recreation Center,” Green said. 

Some students without cars also said that a short-term parking solution is a good idea, like Erik Roseberry, a freshman majoring in engineering. 

“I think it will help motivate those who live off campus to get fit and stay healthy, since [Pitt] already prides itself on being [a healthy campus],” Roseberry said. 

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