Commuter students found themselves in a bind after the recent blizzard cleanup left piles of snow in street parking spots around campus. Many are turning to Temple’s parking lots.
Main Campus, like neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia region, remains crippled after the Feb. 10 snowstorm, with parking still a problem for many students on campus.
Finding parking spots along side streets near campus is daunting regardless of snow, but with streets still snow-covered, student parking can become dangerous as well.
“I’m actually [parked] vertically,” Chanaira Howell, a junior journalism major, said. “I’ve been here for hours, so I’m praying somebody hasn’t hit my car.”
Howell commuted to campus since her sophomore year, and even without the snow, she said she is often late to class after having a difficult time finding a parking spot. The snow has made it worse, she said.
When the snowstorm dropped 18 to 20 inches of snow on the city, Temple’s facilities crew went to work attempting to clear sidewalks and buildings that were open while the rest of campus was closed.
The responsibility of clearing the streets, however, falls to the City of Philadelphia, not Temple, Assistant Director of University Communications Hillel Hoffmann said.
According to an online University Communications article, “Facilities staff moves mountains to keep Temple running,” the university had not closed its doors since a 1996 snowfall that brought 30 inches in one day, and even then, campus was closed for only one day.
“The ‘Snowpocolypse of 2010’ and its cleanup is definitely one for the record books,” University Communications wrote.
Some students have opted for guaranteed parking through the Office of Parking Services.
Joseph McNamee, a junior risk management and insurance major who transferred to Temple this semester from the Community College of Philadelphia, attested to the troubles students encounter when parking on campus.
“With the overabundance of snow that we received, I was denied parking in lot six [at 13th and Diamond streets],” he said.
After trying his luck at two other parking lots on campus to no avail, he went to the Office of Parking Services to explore his other options, he said.
“The only other alternative that I found was getting assigned a parking lot, where it turns out to be $5.15 a visit,” McNamee said. “Which is a lot better than the $12 [per day] I was originally paying.”
This year, the Office of Parking Services has seen an increase in students requesting guaranteed access parking compared to last, Hoffmann said. The university is unsure whether the increase is linked to the snowfall.
They assess the data at the end of each month, he added.
Junior communications major Mari Dwyer also opts for a paid parking spot behind Temple Towers, which she shares with her roommate, she said.
“On Mondays, she doesn’t [have class], so I have to find my own spot,” she said. “I would come to school 45 minutes early, even though I live 10 minutes away, just to find a parking spot.”
“The one thing that [university officials] are recommending is leave extra time,” Hoffmann said.
Dwyer faces snow troubles at home in Northern Liberties as well, so she said she drives prepared with a shovel in the trunk of her car.
With another snow storm predicted for early this week, students are making alternate plans.
“From now on, if it snows, I’m taking the train,” McNamee said.
“If there is snow on the ground on Tuesday, I’ll take a taxi,” Howell said.
Amanda Fries can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.