PLATTSBURGH — To avoid being tardy, SUNY Plattsburgh student Leigh Borgstrom leaves her Lake Placid home two hours before the start of her first class of the day.
One of those hours is taken up by Borgstrom’s commute to campus, while the remaining time may be spent searching for a spot to park her vehicle.
“Sometimes it will take me an hour to find parking,” she said.
If she wants to park on campus and avoid a $25 parking ticket, Borgstrom is required by the college to park in a lot designated for off-campus students.
However, she said, she finds those lots — seven of various sizes — are often full, especially between 10 a.m. and noon.
Borgstrom would like to see the college make additional parking spots available to commuter students.
“There’s really not enough student parking on campus,” agreed Krystle Morey, also an off-campus student at the school.
SUNY Plattsburgh could create more parking spaces, said Michelle Ouellette, director of public relations and publications at the college; however, doing so would compromise the green space on campus.
“We want to put a high value on our green corridor, which actually goes down the Saranac (River), and really emphasize the beauty of the campus,” she said.
“We don’t want to sacrifice that with more parking.”
The number of parking spaces designated for each campus group, including on-campus students, faculty and staff, and off-campus students, is based on nationally recognized parking ratios, according to Arlene Sabo, chief of SUNY Plattsburgh’s University Police.
These recommended ratios take into consideration how much time each group spends on campus.
For on-campus students, who are at the college the most of any group, the national recommendation is that 1.1 parking permits be issued for every one parking space designated for those students.