The Office of Parking Services implemented a new policy Aug. 31 that bans overnight parking in on-campus lots to all non-resident students.
Overnight parking will still be available to those who reside on campus and who request special permits. Currently, the only lots offering overnight parking are the Bell Garage, Temple Towers and Area Six.
James Cirillo, director of Parking Services, said the new policy was designed to deal with the large influx of those choosing to live on campus this year, which in turn has overcrowded the lots.
“We basically stopped selling guaranteed-access parking because we maxed out all of our guaranteed-access assignments,” Cirillo said.
About 400 people have signed up for overnight parking and there are 631 spaces available, Cirillo said. The total capacity of Temple parking lots is approximately 3,200, with most of the spaces coming from lots that are not available for overnight parking. There are no plans to open up these lots for overnight use.
Many who live off campus claim to be unaffected by the new policy, stating they rarely need to stay on campus overnight. If they do, some choose to park in the dirt lot on Montgomery Avenue, while others simply park on streets around campus or on residential streets – an act that has bothered much of the surrounding community. Temple has tried to curtail these practices by encouraging people to apply for sanctioned parking.
“We encourage them to opt for overnight parking arrangements where they can put their cars in these designated areas,” Cirillo said.
But because non-residents cannot park in these designated lots, they are left with few other options should they need to stay past the lot closing time, which is 11 p.m. While this isn’t a problem for a large number of non-resident students, those who need to stay after hours for clubs, school publications and events have no other choice but to leave. Others say that it is yet another move by the administration to push upperclassmen off campus. Cirillo denies this assumption.
“As long as someone is an overnight dorm student they are certainly welcome to make arrangements and park their car in our overnight facilities,” Cirillo said.
Beginning this year upperclassmen are no longer allowed to live on campus unless they found housing in the Temple sponsored apartments – Oxford, University Village, Kardon and Atlantic. If students do not live in one of these buildings, they are considered non-residents and are ineligible to park overnight.
“It’s bullheaded bureaucracy,” said one Temple alumnus who preferred to remain anonymous. “There’s no legitimate reason for it.”
Furthermore, he said, the Office of Parking Services is ignoring an uneasy truth that college students do in fact drink and is preventing them from driving home.
Should the rule be imposed, those who live off campus would have no other choice but to drive home while under the influence.
“It’s actually very dangerous,” he said. “You’re sending kids home who are inebriated and saying, ‘Sorry, it’s 11 [p.m.], you have to drive home now.’ It’s ridiculous.”
Students who use the overnight lots without a permit will be ticketed or towed, according to a notice from the Office of Parking Services.
Andrew Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.