Absurd Parking Locations on Campus


Mason Brooks, Sports Editor

Having a car on the University of Hartford campus is a love, hate relationship.  On one hand, you have the freedom to go out and explore Hartford, and its neighboring towns with relative ease.  However, once you get back to campus the stress of finding a parking spot begins.  As someone who lives in Quad 5 of the Village Apartments, it can be an absolute struggle to find a parking spot within comfortable walking distance.

The way the school sets up parking is quite simple.  There are various lots located around campus with letter designations.  Some lots are strictly residential, while others are strictly commuter, with a few visitor lots sprinkled in.  The problem is, there simply are not enough residential lots near housing.

For me in the Village, there are only two parking lots that I can really park at.  The VA 4/5 parking lot is the ideal place to park for someone in my quad because it is so close.  The issue with this lot is that it is the most competitive parking lot for obvious reason.  On top of that, there are only about 20 spots in the lot which are almost always full.

The other lot, N lot, is slightly further away, by the athletic fields.  Here there are quite a bit more spots, however, everyone living on the academic side is in competition for these parking spaces.  Another issue with this lot is that a foul ball hit during a baseball game can absolutely decimate your windshield.  The University of Hartford displays signs such as “park at your own risk around the athletic fields”, but we students really do not have the luxury of parking anywhere else.

When N lot is full, which it quite often is in the evening, you have to make the trek to the N lot annex, popular referred to as “rape” lot.  This annex lot earns its name because it is so distant from the rest of campus, that many people feel unsafe walking back at night, not to mention that there is inadequate lighting on the walk back.

These parking conditions on campus not only are an extreme inconvenience, but create unsafe conditions for students.  I remember in February when we had a brutal cold wave sweep in with temperatures below zero, I had to park in the annex lot, which meant a long, bitterly cold walk back to my apartment.  For someone sensitive to the cold, this could be life-threatening.

Because parking on the University of Hartford campus is so limited, the best recommendation I have is to make another parking lot for students closer to the housing.  This would not only increase the moral of students by making them more willing to drive off campus and make a good college experience because they know parking will be available on the return trip, but also would make students much safer for their walks back to their room.

In the end, I am glad I have my car on campus, but I understand why some people do not even bother leaving.  It almost makes you question the almost $500 fee to park on campus, but that’s another story.