The Northeast Community College parking crisis


Regan Dorcey, Reporter


NORFOLK – Northeast Community College does not require students to live on campus their first year of college as most colleges do. This is a good thing because it saves off-campus students money, but also bad because the parking in the lot between the nursing and science building is a mess. Northeast is also expanding the Student Center into that parking lot, which will make parking spots rarer than they already are.

I live off campus and have class in the science building every day except Tuesdays, this means I, along with many other students, am fighting the parking nightmare. I try to leave early enough to get to the parking lot by 9:40 a.m. for my 10 a.m. class. At this point, most of the parking spots are filled since most classes get out ten minutes before the hour. Sometimes, I find a parking spot before what I call “the rush” hits, other times I get sucked into it. There have been times where I have been late to class because I spend 20 minutes looking for a parking spot.

“The rush” would be when a bunch of students is coming out of class, but the same amount of students, if not more are looking for a parking spot. This sweet ten minutes before the hour is a total warzone. If a car is backing out and you plan to take their spot and you are behind them, the spot is yours, that is unless a car on the other side has a better chance of getting it. At this point, it’s whose car can accelerate faster, and I will admit – having a sports car – I have been guilty of this. As I said, it’s a warzone.

I’ve discovered that the later in the week it is the less crazy the parking is. Monday it’s almost impossible to find a parking spot, sometimes I have to park in Maclay or the Cox parking lots. However, on Fridays, it’s easy to find a parking spot close enough that my remote start will work when my class is almost over.

Most off-campus students have to deal with parking, but sadly some on-campus students know the pain too, even though they shouldn’t. For example, I have friends in the apartment dorms, so I know most of the cars of students that live in those dorms. One would be a Monte Carlo that’s yellow and from 12 county, if I see this car in the dorm parking lot every time I’m over there and I see that same car in the Ag and Allied parking lot, I know she’s driving. However, it’s not just her, it’s a lot of people living in the dorms, there’s also a car from 24 county that’s a Ford Explorer, he lives in Simon Hall. I know there is parking to the side of the main parking lot and behind Ag and Allied, however, these parking lots fill up just as fast.

To fix this problem, Northeast has a couple of options, in my opinion. The first thing Northeast could do is build another, very big parking lot before they expand the Student Center. There’s a lot of construction sites on campus. Surely, if Northeast has the money to expand the Student Center they can afford to build a parking lot next to the side ones.

The second thing Northeast could do is try to prevent on-campus students from driving. On-campus students live here for a reason, and Northeast is a small campus. There is really no good reason they need to drive. If it’s cold out, make sure you wear plenty of layers on your way to class! Plus going through buildings on-campus students walking to the Science building are spending like 5 minutes outside. Night Patrol should drive around the parking lot every hour and give a parking ticket to students who live on-campus, telling via license plates. This would help clear parking spots for off-campus students who actually have to drive to class.