Parking problems persist at King's

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Street parking sign

Jon Purdy

PARK YOUR KEESTER, MEESTER. The problem around King's University College is there simply isn't anywhere to park. King's students and local residents alike are feeling the crunch of the scarce parking spaces.

There are new developments in the ongoing King’s University College parking controversy.

Over the summer, the City of London enacted a parking restriction around King’s University College.

Those who wish to park on the streets of Brough, Huron, Patricia, Steele, Waterloo, University Crescent and Broughdale Ave. will now require a parking pass " something only homeowners can receive.

The move has drawn fire from King’s University College Students’ Council President Ryan Gauss.

“Though I don’t feel the restriction was deliberately targeted at students, it does have a bit of an anti-student feeling,” Gauss said. “I think students feel disappointed; this has been taken away from them when they weren’t around to fight it.”

Some King’s students arriving back at school after a long summer are surprised by the new restriction.

“That’s incredibly frustrating. I think it will upset a lot of people,” Jillian Dobson, a second-year philosophy student at King’s, said.

Gauss was quick to point out the city has made a concession to students after August negotiations. “We have been working with the City and I have been able to secure 48 new spots on Waterloo that will be available on Sept. 18.”

It is hoped the 48 spots will resolve the parking problem until Kings takes over the Hebrew Day School next door adding 74 parking spaces.

One Steele St. homeowner believed only time would reveal the project’s effectiveness.

Other homeowners along Waterloo St. sympathized with students.

“We don’t usually find that the students are a problem,” one anonymous homeowner said. “Occasionally a student will block a driveway in the winter but that’s rare.”

Chris Nicholl, a Waterloo St. homeowner said, “If there’s trouble with parking then they should be building more parking lots.”

The pilot project, inspired by other larger cities such as Toronto, may be seeing more use around London if this restriction is effective.

“We’ve already had requests from areas around hospitals, Fanshawe College and Western,” said Maguire.

As for the need for parking around King’s, Maguire outlined a simple plan.

“Some students may find that finding alternatives to driving alone is easier than finding parking,” Maguire said, “Carpooling, walking, public transit " all of these methods are perfectly acceptable ways of getting around.”

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