Parking not just a pain for students
By Laura Katsirdakis
Although London community members are encouraged to attend
performances at Western’s two theatres, there are no
special concessions made for them to ease the hassle of parking
When attending a showing of The Mikado last week at Talbot
Theatre, Western alumnus Mary Taylor experienced difficulty
finding a parking spot. “It was pandemonium; there was
no place for anyone to park,” she said.
“I am calling on the behalf of a lot of people,” Taylor
said, noting there are many alumni and Londoners who regularly
attend productions such as this one.
“Western is a big facility; this is a ridiculous situation,” Taylor
said, explaining that she has been attending shows at Talbot
Theatre and von Kuster Hall in the Music Building for years
and parking has always been a problem.
“The parking lot [near Talbot Theatre] is very small,” she
said, adding The Mikado, which ran for almost two weeks, had
a full house every night. The weather exasperated the situation
by blocking some spots with snow, she said. “There were
recitals going on next door [claiming some of the parking spots].
“You always have to worry about parking,” Taylor
said, adding she has now resorted to arriving 45 minutes to
an hour early every time she attends a theatre event on campus.
“This issue came up at our parking forum [in late October
2003]: the idea of free visitor parking to encourage people
to come to campus,” said Paul Yeoman, University Students’ Council
According to Yeoman, the problem has always been how to set
the priority on who parks where. “The university tends
to send visitors to [Alumni Hall and D.B. Weldon Library parking
lots] because [the theatre] area is in the core.”
“We welcome having people visit campus, but students
pay to come here every day [and they] should be getting priority,” Yeoman
“It is difficult to provide parking adjacent to all
of our facilities,” said Dave Riddell, associate VP-physical
plant and capital planning. “We really don’t have
any area to put parking [for the theatres] except in the sports
field, and we also have a demand for those sports fields — it
is a challenge to balance all of these needs.”