Attendants say University lots fill too quickly

Dawn Throener

Every day between 75,000 and 80,000 people come to the University, according to Parking and Transportation Services.
But for many of them, their first worry isn’t class or meetings, it’s finding a parking spot.
On the East Bank, the University monitors 11,957 parking spots in its lots and ramps, in addition to 2,737 on the West Bank and 3,804 in St. Paul.
Corrine Pinc, a senior parking attendant, said the Gopher Lot is full by 8 a.m., the Wolverine Lot is full by 9 a.m. and the Hawkeye and Buckeye lots fill up by 10 a.m.
Becca Dalrymple, an English undergraduate student, said she parks in the lots every day she’s on campus.
“If you don’t know to get to the University early, you better learn,” she said.
With the busy early-morning traffic, lines can get long and drivers impatient.
Pinc said people honk their horns, drive through the gates and, on occasion, hit the attendants.
Two years ago, while informing cars that the lots were full on a winter day, Pinc was hit by a car. She said that the driver saw her and she moved to miss him, but he still caught her in the legs. Witnesses wanted to go after him, but she didn’t want them to.
“He didn’t hurt me,” she said. “I had enough clothes on.”
Her biggest gripe, though, is people who don’t obey the speed limit. Often times, drivers will grab a ticket, look to see if she’s watching and then speed through lots, Pinc said.
Pinc and Laura Sakry, another senior parking attendant who has been with Parking and Transportation Services for about a year, agree that Mondays and Wednesdays are the busiest days of the week.
Yet parking and transportation spokeswoman Cari Hatcher looks at the situation as a whole.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been completely full,” she said. “I don’t think every single parking space on campus has been full.”
David Sobieski, operations supervisor, agreed. “If we’ve ever been full, it’s only been for a blink of the eye.”
As for the future, there have been talks of adding a another level over the lots; however, funding is lacking.