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Lack of parking at UNB leaves students scrambling

Lack of parking at UNB leaves students scrambling
UNB students have more on their minds these days than good grades. As Megan Yamoah reports, students say a lack of parking spaces is keeping them from getting to class on time.

Students at the University of New Brunswick say limited parking at the central park of campus is making it impossible to get to class on time this year.

“It is a struggle. This year is my fourth and final year at UNB and this year has been the worst year to find parking,” said student Lauren Vandenborre.

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UNB student union president Craig Fernandez says they’ve been fielding lots of complaints over the past few weeks.

“There are more parking passes sold than there actually are spots on campus so a lot of students who paid a lot of money for a parking passes are coming to campus for class and not finding a spot,” said Fernandez.

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A three-term student parking pass is $174. The University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University sold 4,845 parking passes last year, a 23 per cent oversell.

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“I’ve had times where it’s like I couldn’t go to class because I couldn’t find parking,” said UNB student Jos Quilty.

The campus has almost 4.000 parking spaces, with 2400 available for student use.

“Today for my 9:30 a.m. class I showed up at 8:30 a.m. and I wasn’t able to park until 9:24 a.m.,” said Vandenborre.

A year ago the capital planning office at the university did a spot audit study to understand the scope of the issue.

“They found that there are a number of underutilized lots there was always availability in four of the bigger lots but they are not always convenient with where students would like to go,” said Don Allen, director of UNB Security and Traffic.

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“They should try and park at 9 a.m. when we have a class for 9:30 and tell me where the spots are available,” said Vandenborre.

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Students say that isn’t the case, and when parking lots are full, many resort to making their own space which results in parking tickets.

“I’ve seen the BMO parking lot up there and the pool parking full sometimes and from that I have to try and find something off campus,” said Quilty.

Students have planned a sit-in at the facilities management building next Tuesday. They want university administration to make a short-term plan to address their concerns.