Pissing off our neighbours

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U of R’s parking issues become local residents’ problem

Sophie Long
News Writer

With the continued parking problems at the University of Regina, students have taken to parking in the streets nearby. There have always been some students who have chosen to park along Kramer Boulevard, but with the amount of difficulty students have been experiencing with Parking and Transportation Services this semester, the streets seem more filled than usual.

This seems like an ideal solution – students can park on the streets close to the university and avoid the $140 per semester for parking on campus by just walking a few blocks. However, with more students unable to get M permits than in the past few years, there are more students parking in the neighbourhood than ever before. This may resolve the parking problems students are facing, but is it irritating our neighbours?

Mr. and Mrs. Brown, who live near the university, have found some difficulty with students parking on their street.”

“A girl parked right across [our] driveway. She got out of her car and started texting and just walked away,” Mrs. Brown said. “I think students are sometimes in a hurry and they don’t realise it’s a driveway.”

“I think the university doesn’t do a good job on telling the students about parking regulations” Mr. Brown added.

City regulations require that vehicles parked in residential areas park at least two metres away from the driveways and six metres from corners. This is clearly not being adhered to most of the time, according to Marianne Dube, a resident of McNiven Avenue.

“There is a two-hour limit, but most people stay longer. I have called the alderman, but I did not get [an] answer,” Dube said. “I would not go to the university, because I feel bad for the students.”

Louis Browne, the city councillor for Ward 1, which includes the University of Regina and its surrounding neighbourhood, commented on the parking problems for residents:

“We have moved parking enforcement from the police back over to City Hall … so we have a little bit of efficiency there and we have a little bit more control, and the commissionaires assigned for parking control; that’s all they’re assigned for,” Browne said. “From the students’ side of things, I think what they’re concerned with is having reasonably priced parking or reasonable ways of getting to school, and it’s something I’m happy to engage with as well.”

The University of Regina is aware of these issues, too. Barb Pollock, U of R Vice-President of external relations, suggested students look into different methods of getting to school.

“We're aware of complaints from the surrounding area and we understand the inconveniences experienced by homeowners and those looking for parking spots,” she said. “We are encouraging our students and employees to think ‘green’ and consider carpooling, mass transit, and other means.”

As well as encouraging green behaviour, the university insists parking will be less of an issue as more parking passes are released. Concerns raised by residents are not simply because of blocked driveways and inconsiderate parkers. Dube raised a concern that could affect all residents and students. Students’ poor parking could prevent emergency services from getting to where they are needed.

“It’s not so bad this year, but if there’s a lot of snow, they have to park further into the street,” Dube said.

“It becomes a dangerous situation because emergency vehicles can’t get through. I have seen a big fire truck trying to get through, and I know one fire man had to climb on top of their truck and look down to see if they had clearance."   

Dube does have some sympathy for the students.

“I feel really bad when they get ticketed or towed. At the university, they have lots of land; I don’t see why they can’t use it for parking,” she said. “Sometimes when I see the parking officers I tell them that it’s OK.”

“Buying a parking pass is so expensive,” said Dale West, a second-year education student. “For the amount of times I could get ticketed parking in nearby neighbourhoods, well, just fiscally, it makes more sense for me to just risk that.”

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