Parking on campus has been affected by construction in the Trinity S lot, as well as by a change in ownership of the lot in front of the Commons.
About 30 spaces in the Trinity S lot are blocked off while the facilities department is working on the storm water piping system for the Trinity buildings. This project was necessary to prevent water from leaking into Trinity’s academic and worship wings.
Paul Matthews, director of facilities, says the underground work should be completed in March and the entire project should be finished by May. The timeline for the project had to be pushed back slightly because of recent cold temperatures.
The lot in front of the Commons is owned by a company called Plaza Properties and is no longer a student parking lot. The company and the university had an agreement last year about using that space as an O lot, but the city of Bexley wants that area developed, as the area has been used as a parking lot for 13 years.
According to Matthews, the university exited that agreement to help put pressure on the owner to develop the land.
Matthews also said the area lacks the necessary requirements to be considered a parking lot, as it isn’t paved and doesn’t have lighting or striping.
“The university was very hesitant to continue that relationship,” Matthews said.
Students should also be aware of the signs in the lot behind the Trinity apartments. While the T lot is in that area, some of the spaces there are owned by the nearby apartment building and restaurants. Despite this, public safety has had success with T permit parking this year.
“We haven’t had any trouble with T permit parking,” Kevin Gault, assistant coordinator of security and public safety, said. “It seems to be one of the best parking situations on campus.”
Although students may be tempted to park in restricted areas anyway, they should know that these areas are patrolled by the companies themselves, not Capital’s public safety. These companies have warned public safety that they will begin citing and even towing students who park in areas reserved for their customers or residents.
There are currently 1,900 parking spaces to accommodate the 5,000 people that come to campus every day. Public safety Chief Frank Fernandez said there may be an additional 80 to 100 parking spaces added this summer pending approval by the city.
“There’s always room for improvement on parking upon approval,” Fernandez said.
Although nothing has been approved yet, parking is something the administration is considering as part of the master plan. According to public safety and facilities, their hope is to push parking to the outer edges of campus and eliminate parking areas in the center of campus.
Gault and Fernandez said that a big reason why there are so few parking spaces is because students have cars on campus that rarely get used. They said that if you want your car on campus but won’t be using it often, save money and buy an O lot pass.
Students who already have an S pass can also put their cars in the locked O lot if they won’t be using it for an extended period of time. This will free up S lot spaces, but your car will still be accessible and there for emergencies.
Gault said there has also been “zero complaints about the O lot this semester,” from students or parents, and that O lot passes have been lowered in order to attract upperclassmen to purchase them instead of S passes.
“Not one upperclassmen” took them up on the deal, Gault said, and many cars sit in the S lots without moving for weeks.
Due to the Trinity merge, which added about 180 parking spaces, this is the first year that sophomore students have been allowed to keep their cars on main campus rather than in the O lot.
According to public safety, the worst time to park is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, and the lots continue to be less congested throughout the week. If students have class on Mondays, Gault and Fernandez said to plan for at least 15 minutes of extra time to find parking. If there’s snow or other winter weather, plan for an extra 30 minutes.
The complete rules and regulations for parking can be found on the public safety section of the university’s website. If students have trouble finding parking or have questions about where they can park, Fernandez says to give public safety a call. They can look on the cameras to find available spaces or give temporary passes when needed.
STORY UPDATED FEBRUARY 01, 2018, 1:44 P.M.:
Following the interview, Capital’s proposed master plan, which initially included an area of campus to be repurposed into a new parking lot, was updated. The area that was proposed as a new parking lot will now be baseball and softball fields. The master plan has not yet been approved, so these changes to campus are not finalized.