Earlier in the week, John reviewed BSU’s new parking garage. Most commuters (including myself) are not fans of the massive, dangerous, concrete eyesore, but it doesn’t change the fact that I drive to school every day and ALWAYS need a parking spot. A few years ago, I could come to campus in the middle of the day, and maybe not snag the most convenient space, but still find something in Spring Street or Hooper. Thanks to the demolition of the Lower Great Hill lots (R.I.P. LGH <3), I had to completely reinvent the way I find a parking spot on campus.
I know it’s hard to believe, but it IS possible to find a non-garage parking spot on campus after 11am on a weekday. I’m going to share my bag of tricks with you.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Ever notice how campus quiet gets during normal class hours? Chances are if a lot is full at 9:30, a spot will NOT free up until at least 10:45. Try to get on campus during one of the 15-minute break periods in-between classes. You’ll notice an influx of students walking back to their cars and leaving campus for the day.
USE THE BUSES
Regardless of how many death stares you get from the vegan, environmentalist joggers who despise the fact that BSU constantly has BAT buses circling around campus, they’re FREE and you should take full advantage of them- especially if you don’t have the most convenient parking lot. Nabbed a spot at near Tinsley, but have class all the way in Harrington? Just wait for one of the buses to swing by (they come every 15-20 minutes) and ride it all the way.
SAVE YOUR GAS
Let’s say you get to campus early before a break period and no spots are freeing up whatsoever. Instead of aimlessly circling around a lot and wasting half a tank of gas, pull over to the side of the lot (out of the way of any potential cars) and turn off your engine. Unless a BSU cop or traffic patroller shows up, just chill out until class gets out and students return to their cars.
MEET SOME NEIGHBORS
There are TONS of commuters (myself included) who may fall into the “commuter” category, but live just as close to campus as any resident. BSU is surrounded by private student housing and apartments. Network with people in your classes and make friends with someone who has a private driveway within walking distance of campus. Don’t park on their turf everyday, but if worse comes to worse, ask them if you can use their driveway as an emergency backup.
No matter how much we complain, truth is, LGH is never coming back… and the garage is here to stay. Instead of fighting the system, I suggest trying to beat it. Be SMART and continue to be PROUD to commute.
Have you had any extra difficulty parking on campus this semester? Do you have any tips or tricks for grabbing the best spot in the lot?