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Campus Parking Dilemmas And Prices Explained By Administration

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

car 2/23/12

Colleen Donnelly for The Heights

If you ask students, many of them will tell you that one of their least favorite aspects of Boston College is the lack of undergraduate student parking.

According to Transportation and Parking Manager Paul Cappadona, resident students share access to about 970 parking spaces between the Main, Brighton, and Newton campuses. There are 9,100 undergraduate students, meaning that about 10 percent of students are able to park on campus each year.

Cappadona also stated that graduate students and commuters comprise about 70 percent of the total parking inventory owned by BC. If permits are requested, it is more likely that they will be given to graduate students and commuters rather than full-time resident undergraduates.

In addition to being limited for undergraduate students, parking is also extremely expensive. This can be a source of concern for many who feel that having access to a car on campus is a necessity. For resident undergraduate students, parking costs $518 per semester, while graduate students pay $259 per year. "The prices are developed to support the maintenance and upkeep of the parking facilities," Cappadona said. On top of insurance, maintenance, and gas prices, the high price for parking is a major deterrent to many students who desire to have access to a car on campus.

 Not only is parking difficult for students, but it is also a hassle for weekday visitors. Because of faculty and staff parking, visitors are prohibited from using the Commonwealth Garage until after 2 p.m. Visitors must park on levels 3 and 4 in the Beacon Street Garage adjacent to Alumni Stadium. On high volume days, such as Accepted Eagle Days, visitor parking spots become more difficult to find.

Visitor parking for athletic events are managed differently according to the event, date, and time.

Football games require that all students move their cars from Main Campus in order to accommodate the large number of fans attending the event. When heavy snow is predicted, students also have to remove their cars from surface parking lots, like the Mod Lot, to facilitate snow removal.

Enforcement of BC parking rules and regulations is done through the BCPD. "The BCPD effectively meets the University's needs due to the policies and procedures in place," Cappadona said. "They are able to keep the number of parking violations to a manageable size, and given the amount of cars that park on campus daily, the number of vehicles towed is minimal."

The number of parking tickets issued daily varies depending on classes being in session, times, locations, and other factors.The average ticket price is set between $50 and $75. Cappadona believes that this is an effective deterrent to make sure there is enough space for those permitted to park. "Since raising ticket prices to this level around 2008, BC has successfully increased parking availability for permit holders and authorized visitors," Cappadona said.

The University does have plans to expand on campus parking in the future, though it is unknown whether or not the new parking will be available to undergraduates.

The 10-year master plan being carried out by BC includes arrangements for a 500-space parking garage on the Brighton Campus.

Although parking may be limited, Cappadona urges all students to abide by all parking regulations on and off campus. He maintains that BC works hard to be a good neighbor by following the parking laws of the City of Newton and addressing problems proactively.

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