Flint Village parking lot opening spaces to public
Twenty spots to change to meter parking
UB Parking and Transportation is changing 20 parking spots in the Flint Village parking lot to metered parking.
Starting on Oct. 15, the spaces between the two main Flint entrances that face Augspurger Road will be tested as open meter parking on the Parkmobile app. The meters will be enforced Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Parkmobile allows users to pay for their meter and receive alerts on their phone. Parking and Transportation did not comment or provide any statistics about how many people use the app on campus.
Meter parking signs are already installed in front of the spots, but are covered by trash bags until the October start date.
Parking Services emailed Flint residents and informed them of the change on Wednesday. Residents who have a Flint parking sticker in their car will be issued a warning if they continue to park in the spots, according to the email. Even if residents have a Flint sticker, after the change takes effect, it will not waive the metered parking fee.
UB Spokesperson Kate McKenna said the university hopes the extra meter parking will help alleviate the parking shortage on campus.
“As part of the university’s plan to meet the demand for short-term parking, 20 spaces in the Flint Village parking lot will be tested as metered parking spaces,” McKenna said. “Flint Village parking lot was selected because it contains an excess of spaces that regularly go unused. Flint residents will continue to be able to use the majority of the parking spots in the lot at no additional charge.”
McKenna said UB’s office of parking and transportation plans to communicate with residents regarding the parking change next week.
Flint residents have mixed feelings about the change.
Alyson Katz, a senior art history major, said she likes the idea of letting non-residents park in unused spots, but questions why they have to pay.
“I like that they are giving others that don’t live in Flint the opportunity to use those spots because they aren’t usually being used,” Katz said. “But I don’t think they should have to pay for them. They should be available during school hours and then free to all on weekends like most of the other parking lots on campus.”
Katz said the university should look into securing additional space on campus for a parking garage or additional lots. With UB’s freshman class growing every semester, she finds it increasingly difficult to find a parking spot.
“The fact that there is so little parking on campus already and the only new parking they are making –– which isn’t even a new [parking lot] –– you need to pay for is ridiculous,” Katz said. “If they were building a new garage I could understand charging [students] to help pay for it. But if you are just opening spots up to new people, they shouldn’t have to pay.”
Other residents, like Elizabeth Roth, a junior accounting major, said they don’t really mind the change. Roth said she noticed empty parking spaces in the lot and likes that students can use them in a pinch.
“At first I was p----d and annoyed and had only negative thoughts about it, but it doesn’t really affect me at all,” Roth said. “There are plenty of spaces and I think everyone who lives there will still be able to park by their apartment as usual for free. I don’t think it’s helping the shortage though, we need way more than 20 spots.”
Students think the parking spots should be free to park in. Junior psychology major Nayali Noboa said she thinks UB is taking advantage of the parking shortage to squeeze students out of more money.
Noboa said she’ll still spend extra time looking for a parking spot instead of paying at a meter.
“We pay a lot of money to go to school here so any additional upgrades should be free,” Noboa said. “We came here for a reason: to learn. College students often face economic hardships. Since we’re not always financially stable, we shouldn’t have to pay. If anything, take away freshman parking passes or make staff pay extra, at least they have a career and can afford it.”
Max Kalnitz is the senior news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org