Visitor parking can become problematic for those unfamiliar to campus.
Visitors are provided spaces to park on campus in certain locations, but they are limited in number. Unless a parking spot has a meter, there is no charge for visitors. Parking passes are made available by Public Safety but they are not required.
“We highly recommend that visitors to campus come in and obtain a visitor pass for their length of stay,” said Mike Bath, director of Public Safety. “It alleviates them receiving a parking citation if they have a visitor pass displayed. If someone is on campus on a regular basis, we will issue a visitor pass to them for the current semester.”
Outside of the DeVos Art Museum are a few parking spaces reserved for visitors. Those spaces are meant to be used only by visitors to the museum whose cars are not registered with the university.
“Even students visiting the museum should not be parking in visiting spaces,” said Melissa Matuscak, director and curator of the DeVos Art Museum. “There is no time limit on the parking spaces, so visitors are allowed to park there for however long they are in the museum.”
Due to the limited number of visitor spots provided for the museum, it can become a hassle when there are people who are wrongly parked there.
“With fewer than 10 spots, there can be a problem with students occupying visitor parking at the museum, but most of the time there is not a problem of overcrowding,” Matuscak said. “It can become a hassle for visitors, but there usually is not a problem for overcrowded visitor parking.”
For events at Forest Roberts Theatre, there are no designated parking spots reserved solely for visitors to the theater. This causes a short supply of parking available for patrons of FRT.
“Mostly people park in the Hedgcock lot near the library, or as far as the University Center,” said Ansley Valentine, director of theater. “Because our events mostly happen at night and on the weekends, our patrons seem to find spots to park. However, we did have a problem during our daytime matinee performances of ‘A Year with Frog and Toad.’”
Citations are issued to vehicles wrongly parked in a parking spot designated for visitors. Vehicles are ticketed regularly and citations will be issued to vehicles wrongly occupying a visitor parking spot.
“Once we verify that someone is truly a visitor, we excuse the citation,” Bath said. “The citation can be returned to our office to be excused, or it can be returned to us by mail.”
When large events are held on campus, the university can normally handle the level of guests, providing them with adequate parking. The Superior Dome and Berry Events Center have a sufficient amount of parking and parking in Lot 8 is permitted for visitors attending a conference in the University Center.
“When there is a large conference on campus, we issue conference passes to all of the attendees if the department requests those passes in advance,” Bath said. “If Lot 8 is full, they are instructed to park in any other legal space on campus. It is rare when attendees must park outside of that parking lot.”
For more information about visitor parking, call Public Safety at (906) 227-1476.