Campus News

Students express concerns about parking

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  Residential and commuter students at Bethel have expressed concerns about parking issues on campus. “Parking has been an issue for me this year, there are no close spots and sometimes none at all in my area,” said Rafael Barreto, a senior commuter student. Residential students who have cars are able to park on campus in their assigned areas. Commuter students are assigned to park in areas around the Wiekamp Athletic Center and Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts building. Freshmen are assigned the area behind the Wiekamp Athletic Center. Visitors can park around the Huffman Administration Building and in general parking areas. Resident students have complained that there is a lack of parking for their dorm area.
Founder's Village parking lot on the Bethel Campus -Photo By Ashley Albrecht
Founder's Village parking lot on the Bethel Campus
-Photo By Ashley Albrecht
“The issue of parking has been brought up by students and I have been talking about it with the physical plant director to address the issue,” said Paul Neel, campus safety director. Resident students are most concerned about parking around Founder’s Village. “On weeknights it can be pretty bad,” said Kyle Hanby, a Founder’s resident student. “Like there will only be one spot and sometimes there will be no spots.”   Founder’s Village, which is located on the south end of campus, has a high concentration of students.  Neel admitted it’s a little crowded when it comes to parking in the area. “Founder’s Village has a lot of students and we have noticed it being more cramped in that lot, there are not a lot of spaces to amount for the students there,” said Neel. Resident students have to find other areas on campus to park if there dorm lot is full. “I hear a lot of complaining about parking, even about some of the rules about where you can and cannot park,” said Hanby. Commuter students have also expressed concern about parking. Many of them try to park on the side of Wiekamp for the convenience of being closer to their class.  They say that parking lot is often full, especially on weekdays during the mornings and around midday. “Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s are those busy days and parking for commuters in Wiekamp’s lot can be scarce,” said Neel. Students have classes scheduled throughout the day, along with Chapel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, this results in a high volume of parking traffic during the daytime. “I find I have to search around for a spot next to Wiekamp some days and it’s annoying when you can not find one and have to park further away,” said Kevin Kirkland, a junior commuter student. Another factor is the new Sufficient Grounds Café, which is now located on the east end of the Wiekamp parking lot. “Parking space was lost with Sufficient Grounds now being on campus and traffic has increased in that area as well,” said Neel. Students believe expanded parking lots in certain areas on campus would result in less student complaints and more accessibility for students. “I think they need to either make a new parking lot or make the ones they have bigger if possible,” said Hanby. Neel said the problem varies with the time of day. “After about 5 p.m. weekdays parking tends to open up with most commuter and visitors gone,” said Neel. “Students are looking for convenience of being about to park close to the Academic Center or their dorm and when spaces are not available, we understand that it can be frustrating, but we are working on a solution.”
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