Shark tank: Commuter lots turn hazardous

Aubrey Wydock, Contributing Writer

     Anyone who is a commuter student knows the trials and suffering that comes from finding a place to park. This year in particular has become more headache-inducing and potentially dangerous than ever. Each day dozens of cars circle commuter lots like sharks just waiting for a spot to open so that they can quickly attack.

     For me, having to commute from Conyngham to Bloomsburg should only take about a half hour. More times than not, however, it takes me much longer with the addition of having to find an open parking space. My longest running time is currently at forty three minutes after arriving on campus to find a place to park.

     Parking for commuters is becoming increasingly alarming as students rapidly try and find a place to park before they’re late for class. Not only is speeding an issue, but most cars tightly cut corners when turning. Not nearly enough turn signals are being used and many students aren’t looking behind them before pulling out of a parking space. Because of this, I’ve seen more close call collisions in both the Black Lot behind Andruss Library and the Black and Purple Lots near the hospital than any other parking lots on campus.

     Senior BU student, Courtney Lauver, was reduced to tears last Thursday afternoon after a trying time attempting to find a parking space. Courtney ended up missing her class despite arriving forty-five minutes before it started. Other students have expressed concerns not only as drivers, but as pedestrians. Crosswalks don’t seem to be doing much in terms of safety and the thought of a car yielding to a passing student doesn’t seem to enter drivers’ minds.

     When it comes to strategy when finding a parking place, some students pick a spot in the parking lot and wait, hoping that another student will come by and pull out. Other students resort to the stalking method, something that, despite the creep-factor, I have found works out fairly well– following students back to their cars and waiting for them to leave. However, there are times when a discovered spot doesn’t always remain available. Cars may be coming from the other direction with their turn signal on, claiming the spot for themselves. When this happens, oftentimes a game of chicken is started. Ultimately one car will give up and drive off, but there are occasions when it becomes a legitimate scare and the lot is left with two cars nearly butting heads.

     There are days when the same cars will be driving around for nearly half an hour and the thought enters the mind of, “Should I just park in a faculty lot and accept the parking ticket?” It’s a legitimate question of whether or not trying to park in your designated lot is worth the stress or the hazard. Yet the question becomes obsolete when the faculty lots are just as full and just as stressful as the student lots. There simply aren’t enough parking spaces to accommodate the need.