Parking Issues

Kate Mason, the director of RIT Parking, Transportation and Facilities, was on hand to give a presentation concerning the ever-growing issue of parking around campus. The presentation centered on the increased demand for parking spaces due to factors such as increased student enrollment and the abundance of construction projects taking place around RIT.

Increased student enrollment and the development of the RIT campus are all positive things for the institution, but they do put more stress on the administration to find a long-term solution to the parking conundrum.

One proposed idea was sacrificing a parking lot to erect an above ground parking structure. This idea would help remedy parking in the future, however, the parking structure would be last in a lengthy queue of construction projects. While more parking space is ultimately the issue, what to do until then is a more pressing concern.

Mason pointed out that currently there is plenty of parking space to accommodate needs until a long-term solution can be found. Unfortunately, most of that space is in the distant B-lot.

RIT has a fairly large campus. Everyone wants to park in the most suitable spaces. This can be seen in presentation statistics that showcase the determination of the Tiger community to park most conveniently. The enforcement of parking policies resulted in the issuance of over 8,900 citations from August 2019 to the present. Additionally, a survey conducted by the RIT Parking, Transportation and Facilities department found that 96 percent of students and staff would avoid parking in B-lot at all costs, despite there being a shuttle service to provide transport.

The utilization of this space is vital since parking at RIT will only become more difficult as construction ramps up. Mason floated some ideas to incentivize their use, such as cheaper parking passes for B-lot users and increasing shuttle services to these areas.

Mason asked Student Government (SG) members to reach out to their constituents to promote the idea of using distant parking lots. Her department is working diligently on a very tight schedule to better the parking needs of the RIT community. Yet, she made it clear that her department needs help in dealing with this issue.

Updated Charges

After the discussion on parking, SG was updated on progress made towards charges addressing issues stemming from PawPrints petitions.

The first update given was concerning progress made towards the addition of a thrift store to campus. The “Goodbye, Goodbuy” petition asked for there to be a permanent store located on campus that allows students to buy discounted goods donated by the RIT community. As of Friday’s meeting, SG is investigating this possibility.

The second update given was on a previous issue that sought to increase the availability of practice rooms. SG reached out to the Department of Performing Arts and found that there is a funding issue preventing the use of practice rooms by students not directly participating in a music class. The SG committee charged with this issue is now seeking out the possibility of using other spaces around campus, other than practice rooms.

The last update addressed the continuing issue of staffing at Gracie’s. SG found that the Housing and Dining department has been working with the Student Employment office to fix staffing problems at Gracie’s. Since then, student staffing has increased, helping to relieve previously understaffed workers until a more permanent solution can be found.

With many charges updated, one charge was able to be closed. This charge addressed student concern over unlit areas of the Quarter Mile and Global Village. SG was able to confirm that the lighting has since been fixed, and there are plans to address the lack of lighting on club fields. This work is expected to begin in the spring semester.