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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Parking problems persist on campus

Photo by Kat Torreano: A car circles Lot 11. Lot 11 holds parking space sections for students, faculty and staff, according to the most recent parking map.

Crowded parking lots on campus this semester are forcing students to park far from their dorms, causing frustration among some of the student body, but the university is taking steps to provide more spots.

Decreased accessibility to parking due to construction of the roundabouts is the cause for a lot of the parking troubles this semester, said Jim Thams, director of facilities and campus planning.

The land that the Marquette City Municipal Service Center now occupies used to be a
student lot.

Thams said there was a great amount of discussion that went into closing that lot and that it was a tough decision for the university.

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“It was too dangerous to have students crossing Wright Street without a crossing light,” Thams said. “That lot had many spots and the parking commission decided to open spaces in Lot 22 to resident students.”

Thams noted the bed to parking spot ratio is not 1-to-1, saying the goal is to keep it a 2-to-1 ratio because not every student brings up a car. Half of Lot 46 and all of Lot 26 on the south side of Gant/Spalding were opened to resident students to keep this ratio after the Service Center was built.

Lot 11 outside of Magers Hall is another area of concern for students. Currently, the entire lot is designated for faculty, staff and commuters.

Mike Bath, director of public safety and police services and head of the parking commission, commented on why half of Lot 11 can’t be made into resident student spots.

“The problem you have there is if the half lot is full,  [students] will just keep going and going. Then if you get one car, you get 20,” Bath said in reference to student overflow into the faculty and staff portion of Lot 11.

This year, 5,280 parking passes were sold compared to last year’s  5,041. Although there are 7,612 students, there are only 6,609 total parking spots on campus. This number includes the parking spaces available at the Superior Dome and the PEIF. Since not all students have a car, this leaves plenty of spots for parking, considering all 5,280 cars will never be on campus at the same time, Bath said.

“You might have some lots that have more traffic 24 hours a day, and other lots that are busiest 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” he added.

Bath explained the longest walk from any resident student lot to a dorm is about nine minutes from Lot 21 on Center Street.

“There are plenty of spaces. The issue is, obviously, that they’re not all 10 feet away from the building, but there’s no college campus that has that,” he said.

Public safety offers an escort program that goes into effect every night after dark, Bath said. If you don’t feel safe walking back to your dorm from anywhere on campus, just call Public Safety and ask for an escort. A student employee or public safety officer will come and walk you back to campus.

The North Wind conducted a survey on Facebook last week in which 88 percent of people who responded said they indeed have trouble parking on campus. Nearly 11 percent of the people who took the survey said “no” and under 1 percent of people were indifferent.

Parking terms are being more strongly enforced as NMU students were emailed Tuesday afternoon from Parking Services within NMU Public Safety and Police Services, warning them to be aware that Lot 8 located outside of the University Center is university property, and that they must be registered with Public Safety and have a valid NMU parking permit to park in the lot. 

“There is also a two hour time limit if you park in this lot,” the email stated. “If you exceed the two hour maximum, you may receive a citation for unauthorized parking-exceeding time limit.”

The email was supposedly sent out due to recent complaints regarding unregistered vehicles in the lot.

“We will be ticketing this lot on a regular basis,” it continued. “If you receive a ticket in this lot for Failure to Register and you are a current student, the citation will not be excused
unless you register your vehicle with us and purchase a parking pass.”

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