Volume 95, Issue 12

Thursday, September 20, 2001
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Twelve months of Mustang vanity

UWO and USC battle for prime parking

Tragedy kills the radio star?

Virus constipates computers

News Briefs

UWO and USC battle for prime parking

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

Students who have been circling campus each day in hopes of finding a parking space might just as well keep on circling.

"We've got a real crunch going on for parking," said Dave Riddell, senior director of physical plant and capital planning services, explaining an increase in enrollment and recent construction has taken away parking spaces. "We've had a net loss of 100 spots this year."

However, Riddell also said in some cases, rather than losing spots, there is a "cascading effect," meaning additional spots in one lot will free up spots in another one.

Recent changes included the additional spaces gained near the old Graphics Building, while spots were removed from the Alumni Hall parking lot due to construction on the Advanced Technology Centre, Riddell said.

"Last year there was a number of employees that couldn't get parking," said Peter Mercer, VP-administration. Although parking is not guaranteed to staff members, it is natural they should expect it, he added.

To help rectify the problem, this summer Western took 200 spaces away from students or those with green passes. The University Students' Council, upset with this decision, negotiated for the reinstatement of 130 of those spots.

"The USC feels that students are the largest population on campus, but tend to be the ones most negatively affected," said Sera Vavala, VP-campus issues.

"We're not obliged to provide everyone a parking spot," Riddell said.

He commended the USC for coming up with an alternative solution like the bus pass. "The USC has shown great leadership with this initiation," he said.

"The difficulty we have is that there is no obvious solution," Mercer said, explaining Western cannot construct a costly parking garage and would only take away important green space on central campus.

"We're looking at a whole range of options," he said, such as the old JW Little Stadium site, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Buffy Wigle, a third-year media, information and technoculture student, said, "I don't have a problem finding a spot at 8 a.m.," but added that after 9 a.m., the Saugeen-Maitland Hall and Springett lots are always full.

The alternative is to park at Huron Flats which is much farther away, she said. "It's a pain in the butt."

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