By: Gus Pignatello, Staff Writer
USM has implemented two new parking policies. A new ticketing system requires Portland citizens to pay two dollars an hour to park in the garage, with a max of $20 a day.
In previous years, the garage was free to the public. Richard Freund, Director of Auxiliary Services, said the system was upgraded so students and staff would have easier access, while normal citizens could be held accountable. Additionally, the new system allows Freund to keep track of the ratio of students to public parking usage.
The garage has room for 1,150 vehicles.
Student Ezra Briggs stood in between the two lanes in a neon vest handing out parking pamphlets, explaining how the new system worked as cars drove up. Ezra said that he was volunteering for community activities. He expressed that people have been initially confused by the changes, but he’s sure that after a few weeks they’ll get the feel of it.
The entrance to the garage was divided into two lanes; one with an active barrier and one without. Freund explained that the new system was undergoing a “soft opening,” so that students and faculty could get used to it.
The other change in parking is a collection of designated lots for freshmen. According to the Parking Office, freshmen lots are GS1 (on school street), GS2 (next to the MccLellan House), GS12a (behind Phillippi), G13 abc (by the soccer field), and G14 (behind Dickey Wood).
Ezra said that USM wanted to make it easier for upperclass students to park as well as encourage freshmen to take the Husky Line.
If USM keeps expanding, there will need to be more parking options made available. When this issue was brought up with Richard Freund, he said that the school is conducting three different parking studies that will focus on expanding existing lots, utilizing temporary parking and building new lots. He said that the Woodbury lot on Portland’s campus would be demolished to make room for a green space to accompany the upcoming Portland dormitories.