Lakeshore Campus parking crush drives search for more lots
Archive 2014 Sep 30, 2014 Chelsea Scherer
Humber College is cramped to find room for new and returning students who wish to park near campus.
Along with limited parking along residential side streets, time restricted spots along Lakeshore Blvd. also make it difficult for students to find convenient parking spots.
Not only this, but local residents frequently call Toronto’s parking enforcement to ticket vehicles parked longer than three hours, the limit on some streets.
Alexandra Burdzy, a student who has had a parking pass for six years, says most students parking on the campus’ main lot are subject to either buy a pass or to pay and display.
Pay and display permits allow for students to buy parking lot time for more or less than four hours.
But students cannot rely on the pay and display payment option for long. At about mid-morning, campus security places a sign in the student parking lot stating that the lot is only reserved for students with permit parking passes.
Students are at that point squeezed out of the privileged parking spots because they don’t have morning class.
“A parking pass is only beneficial if students are on campus most of the week,” says Burdzy. “And for long periods at a time.”
In 2011, the school debut the L-building, costing more than $35-million. But this was only at a time when the lakeshore campus hosted 6,000 students. Previously, the lot was used for parking.
Now with more than 8,000 students at the Lakeshore campus, the college is investigating how to accommodate for the growing number.
Faculty parking located around the outskirts of the campus is not enough either.
The AB lot, already limited with spaces, is required to provide for not only students, but also faculty and guests.
The athletic and welcome centres, both projected to open in 2015, will open the opportunity for more parking options as well.
“We would like to increase parking,” says Wanda Buote, the principal of the Lakeshore campus. “But we’re in a state of investigation.”
The school is looking at purchasing land near the campus for students to park and walk or potentially be shuttle-bussed to school.
“There’s not a lot of room for parking near campus,” says Lindsay Walker, Humber’s sustainability manager. “But we are working to find more sustainable ways to help.”
Partnered with Smart Commute, an alternative travel program run by Metrolinx, the college promotes walking, cycling, public transit, and carpooling as a means of travelling to school.
Using the online tool, students can connect with other students to carpool in order to save money. In return, the driver receives a deal on their parking pass.
In addition to this, new bike repair stations are set to appear on-campus within the next year. An air pump for flat tires and the right tools for a do-it-yourself bike repair, students will be encouraged to ride their bike to school instead of commuting by transit or car.
“We are also talking with the TTC to add more 44 buses to accommodate for the number of students,” says Walker. The 44-south bus runs directly from Kipling station to the college and carries the largest amount of students.
With the athletic and welcome centres to rise in 2015, students hope it will be enough to accommodate for even more students by next year.
“It may not be ideal,” says Burdzy. “But at least it’s an option.”