Parking causes issues for students, faculty


During the first week of classes, Glenn Guzzo drove around the garages for close to an hour trying to find parking for his Wednesday class at UNF.

This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary if he was a student. But Guzzo is a UNF adjunct communication professor.

“The parking is really intense at certain times of day,” he said. “I ended up not being able to show up to class. I had to e-mail the assignment to students.”

Adjunct professors are not guaranteed parking, Guzzo said, and his less-than-optimal parking experience led him to give the class to another instructor to teach for the semester.

“[Parking] really hasn’t been this bad before. It’s pretty awful. There are 50 people fighting over one space,” said premium parking pass holder and junior history major Arthur Bednar.

Parking by the numbers

Auxiliary Services Director Vince Smyth said he attributes the difficulty involved with premium parking to the loss of core campus spaces.

Lot 3 and Lot 4, home to 1,000 spaces, were lost to the construction of the College of Education and Human Services, the Student Union and the Amphitheater, Smyth said.

The 1,000 spaces lost were then off-set by the 1,000-space addition made to Lot 18. With the purchase of UNF Hall, students gained 1,200 spaces in Lot 53. The purchase of Alumni Hall, which doesn’t require a permit for parking, added about 100 spaces. The construction of the newest residence hall, Osprey Fountains, added another 1,000 spaces to housing, Smyth said.

In total, that leaves an overage of 1,300 spaces now accessible to commuters, versus what was previously available.

“Four or five years ago there’d be people parking all over the grass, tearing up the landscaping. Now the spaces are there; they’re just not where people want to find them [in premium],” Smyth said. “We placed the [additional spaces] in the exterior of campus.”

With enrollment up this year by 1,077 students (and 634 of those being juniors and seniors), upperclassmen accustomed to parking next to their classes may have to adjust, Deb Kaye, director of Enrollment Services said.

UNF senior communication major Loren Goldstone has accepted this fact, opting for the cheaper Lot 14, Lot 18, Lot 53 discount parking pass.

“Parking has always been an issue. [This year] there are definitely a lot more cars. We should get another lot,” Goldstone said.

Smyth said that he doesn’t think that sort of action will be necessary, predicting similar numbers to last year.

Last year, the garages certainly did fill up during their peak hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Smyth said.

But this was not seen as a problem, as Lot 5 by the tennis courts (which is also included in the premium counts) consistently had open spaces.

In total, Lot 5 has 131 spaces.

Utilizing the shuttles

If there was any problem last year, it might have been in Lot 18, which only had about 20 spaces available during some peak-hour counts. But the other discount lot, Lot 53, always had more than 600 spaces open, and students should take advantage of these in the event Lot 18 is full, Smyth said. It seems students may have already gotten this message, Kaye said.

“I see a lot more students parking over here at UNF Hall and filling up the shuttles. Some of them are riding their bikes. Some of them are walking over from housing. Some of the kids are living over in the Flats,” Kaye said. “Students are starting to realize that it’s harder to get on core campus parking. It’s a little more convenient to park in one of these outer lots and shuttle in.”

With more students shuttling in, elbow room in the buses may be getting a little tight, said UNF freshman criminal justice major Raymond Nuñez.

“It’s ridiculous [how] crowded it is,” he said.

Though most buses are full between 2 and 3:30 p.m., said shuttle bus driver Patti Cooper, there are no plans to add another shuttle to the routes anytime soon, having already added a bus to the North route in 2008 and a bus to the

South route this semester, Smyth said.

Permits to car ratio

Most permits are sold at a ratio higher than the number of spaces available. The current ratios are 1:5 permits per designated space, 1:4 permits per first floor garage space and 2:5 permits per premium space. All other ratios are 1:1.

“If that 2:5 [ratio for premium] has caused a complete congestion, what we will do is go to the [parking] council and say this is happening. One potential [they could decide to do] is to reduce the ratio [for next year],” Smyth said.

“We’ve sold our permits already, so it’s a little bit more difficult to deal with during [this] year.”

If anyone concerned about parking decides to point the finger at increased enrollment, Kaye said enrollment simply isn’t the case, as the increase this year counteracted the decrease in enrollment last year. There are 61 less students on campus than there were in Fall 2007, Kaye said.

“It seems like we’re a lot bigger [because] last year we were smaller [in enrollment numbers], but we’re really back to normal,” Kaye said.

Parking Services will be conducting counts of the parking lots and garages the week of Sept. 14 or Sept. 21 and will decide what actions to take if they discover any issues in those counts, Smyth said.

“This year, we don’t know yet; we’ll see what the patterns are,” Smyth said. “The patterns may change.”

The Spinnaker will continue to follow on-going developments with campus parking.

To view a complete listing of campus parking spaces and parking permits sold, log on to