February 5, 2023

Investigating parking on campus

Parking on campus has gotten better in recent years due to lower enrollment and hybrid courses.

“On a daily basis, we have between 50 and 100 available spaces in the S2 Lot that are vacant. That is a lot of spaces,” said Kevin Gault, assistant coordinator for public safety.

Since there are more students taking classes online and only commuting some days, more parking is available.

There are 1,697 spaces on campus, including faculty, commuter, resident, handicapped spaces and authorized vehicle parking spots.

“There’s always spaces available,” Gault said. “One of my jobs every day was to go out between 10 a.m. and noon and count available spaces. And I keep a log sheet of how many available spaces [there are].”

“If Capital gets back into higher enrollment numbers, which I hope they do, we know that we can handle it because we handled it before with those high enrollments,” Gault continued.

The D Lot, located at Capital Commons near the Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, is another option to park in for S Lot permit holders. Gault said, “Very often, I’d go in there between 10 a.m. and noon – which is our busiest parking time – and count spaces, and there’d be at least ten every day.” The D Lot is available for S Lot permit holders 24/7 to park in.

Although the O Lot is not in use this year, it remains an option for Capital to use for first-year parking in the future if enrollment goes up. Because the O Lot is not currently in use, first-year students are able to park on the main campus.

Parking for visitors and those with H Lot permits are the most strictly enforced. “For all the Sheridan housing, you have to have an H Lot pass. You can’t have an S Lot pass [or] a D Lot pass; it has to be an H. And then, of course, we’ve always enforced the visitor lots– nobody can park in there,” said Scott Kunkle, Chief of Police at Capital University.

For winter, parking must be handled slightly differently. The spots labeled “No 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. parking” are where snow is plowed from. These lots must remain empty not only to give the snow plowers a chance to clear the lot of snow, but also to allow for commuters, faculty and staff to park in the daytime. The “No 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. parking” was a parking regulation voted in by the Student Government many years ago to ensure that commuters were able to find parking spots in the daytime.

Gault said that people tend to focus on the negativity of the parking permit, but people should look at the positive side of things. “When you register your vehicle, it allows Public Safety to contact you in case of an emergency,” he said. “We want to know who is here on campus for safety reasons.”

  • Melissa is a junior Professional Writing and Journalism major with the specialization of pre-law. She plans to pursue a degree at Capital's Law School after graduation.

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