Parking restrictions lifted for fall semester

Jordan Beck

Between the construction of New Jamrich and the Upper Peninsula’s above-average amount of snowfall and extreme cold weather, parking was a hot topic around NMU throughout the Winter 2014 semester. While those factors and others have created congestion and difficulty, things are looking up when it comes to parking at NMU during the 2014-15 school year.

One of the most significant changes to parking next year will be the completion of the New Jamrich parking lot, sophomore biology major and ASNMU vice president Katelyn Liubakka said. The lot, which has an estimated completion date of Thursday, July 31, 2014, will provide roughly 118 parking spaces for NMU’s faculty and staff.

“It’ll definitely change the flow of traffic and how parking is done,” Liubakka said. “What happened was that construction got rid of 250 parking spaces. They were replaced with Lot 29, which has 50 to 75 fewer parking spaces. But the New Jamrich lot should open up new spaces for people.”

The addition of a new lot will not be the only tweak made to NMU’s parking system in the 2014-15 school year, Liubakka said.

One of the biggest policy changes will be the elimination of freshman parking permits. Instead, all students who live on-campus and have registered a vehicle will use a resident pass, and parking in all student lots will be handled on a purely first-come, first-serve basis.

Patti Rizzio, NMU’s parking services coordinator, said this decision was made largely in order to simplify things from an enforcement perspective. For example, it will completely eliminate issues caused by upperclassmen registering vehicles for freshmen — a common problem on campus.

“Students don’t realize this is a violation of the student code, as they are defrauding the university by registering someone else’s vehicle,” Rizzio said. “When caught, there are consequences for this violation. Changing this policy eliminates those consequences.”

Additionally, Rizzio said some smaller alterations include the reclassification of Lot 26 as a resident lot, reserving Lot 28 entirely for faculty and staff, and making Lot 36 fully accessible to faculty, staff and students.

While Lot 29 will remain as-is for now, it may also be redesignated if need be. Rizzio said while she hopes these new policies will improve the parking situation at NMU, she and others will keep an eye on their effects throughout the upcoming semester.

“The 2014-15 school year will be a year of change,” Rizzio said. “We will continue to monitor all of the parking lots to determine if they are being utilized above capacity or under utilized, and make changes as necessary.”

Though these changes have not yet been implemented, they should have a noticeably positive impact on the NMU parking experience, Liubakka said.

“Parking was hard this year, but it was an issue that was foreseen with the building of New Jamrich,” Liubakka said. “Next year, things will improve drastically.”

For more information contact Parking Bureau at (906) 227-1476 or [email protected].