By Brett Poirier
Jan. 30, 2014
Jett Roberts sometimes walks 10 minutes through snow and ice getting to his morning class.
The first-year business student at Holland College blames poor parking during the winter months for his struggle.
“Finding a spot to park is ridiculous,” said Roberts. “It’s almost impossible to find a spot close by if you’re not there at least 30 minutes before classes start.”
In the winter months, parking around Charlottetown’s downtown core tightens and the college’s parking lots are no exception.
Justin Dunn, Director of Facilities Management at the college says students have lots of options to find parking.
“A lot of students don’t seem to know about our Park Street parking lot,” said Dunn. “I can’t remember a day when that lot was full, and on average there would be 100 available spots at any given time.”
With little parking comes bad parking and that’s why the college has began to take extreme measures.
“We started towing illegally parked cars away last month,” said Dunn. “It was getting out of hand and people were blocking each other in.”
This isn’t the first time the college has resorted to towing away vehicles. Dunn says the numbers are on par this year with previous years.
“In a typical year we have to call a tow truck to remove about 15-25 cars. This year we’re still around that number.”
While there’s been some criticism for removing vehicles, Dunn says he’s received praise for his department’s actions.
“People appreciate us removing the illegally parked cars. We do it for our students and in case emergency personnel ever need into the lot.”
Students were sent information in September about the parking lots, said Dunn. He attributes public awareness to all the car removals.
“If students knew about our Park Street lot we wouldn’t need to tow away one vehicle.”
Roberts says harsh weather determines how he parks.
“When it’s cold and windy out, I’ll look for a spot in the close lot (adjacent from Glendenning Hall). When it’s nice outside, I don’t mind the walk.”
Dunn is hoping students will spread the message of their cars being towed away so other students get the message.
Meanwhile, Roberts offered some advice to fix the parking problem.
“Instead of piling all the snow at the back of the lot, get rid of it. Cars shouldn’t be towed away if there isn’t adequate parking.”