Parking changes on campus lead to student confusion

After Miami University announced a new zoned parking system, some students are confused, but Miami officials are hoping the change will help relieve congestion on parking spots.

The changes came in early August, dividing commuters and residents into three outer properties: Chestnut Fields, Ditmer, and West Millett. First year students must park on West Millett property. However, high school students can obtain a permit for Ditmer or Chestnut Fields.

In previous years, students could purchase a permit for each piece of land.

These commuter and resident parking lots are identified with signs on each lot, and overflow parking is available to anyone with a parking permit at Millett.

All parking permits can be purchased on a daily or semester basis. The day ticket is another new development this semester; Previously, students could only purchase semester-long permits.

Overflowing lots inspire change

Andy Rosenberger, director of parking and transportation services, said the Chestnut Fields and Ditmer parking lots have filled up quickly compared to the West Millett parking lot in recent years, causing congestion and frustration for commuters.

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After studying three different parking systems used by other universities, the zoning system was introduced to reduce traffic and minimize CO2 emissions.

“That’s the goal,” said Rosenberger. “When you come onto campus and you know what lot you’re going to, you know there’s going to be a place there for you.”

For some students, this new parking system is inconvenient. Paolo Papalia, a freshman finance major, lives on Western campus but has to leave his car with Millett despite his proximity to Ditmer.

“Ditmer is easier for me to park,” Papalia said. “I think what they should do is match each student based on where they live.”

Some high school students also dislike the location of these outer lots. Daniel Coates, a senior political scientist, lives off campus but cannot use his car as these properties are remote from his classes.

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“Whenever I have to be on campus for something, my options are very, very limited,” Coates said.

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In addition, students parked in the West Millett car park are required to move their vehicles home before football games.

Rosenberger said these inconveniences are minor compared to other universities, such as Oregon State University, Vanderbilt University and the University of California-Davis. Butler County Regional Transit Authority buses make frequent stops to pick up students from Millett, and all legal spots on campus are free student parking all weekend.

“What we found is that some of these other universities let their freshman students go twice as far as we ask students to go through,” Rosenberger said.

The new system is causing some confusion among students

Since the new zoning system was implemented, parking enforcement officials have sent multiple emails and warnings to dorm students who parked in the wrong area. Officials began ticketing last week.

Despite some confusion, Rosenberger said the new system appears to be working.

“We drove around and there isn’t an outside lot that doesn’t have parking,” Rosenberger said. “There’s room for everyone: commuters or residents.”

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However, Papalia said he was struggling with the new zonal parking system and that the commuter and residential areas were difficult to distinguish despite signage on the lots.

“Ditmer is much better designed because one corner of the parking lot is dedicated exclusively to commuters and is separated by the actual roadway,” Papalia said.

Although students received an email detailing the new parking changes, Papalia did not see them and received multiple warnings before receiving a $75 ticket after parking in the wrong lot and zone.

For students confused about a recent warning or ticket, Rosenberger said they should contact Campus Services and appeal it.

“We’re trying to manage a complex parking system to get people to play by the rules,” Rosenberger said. “If you play by the rules, you should have a parking lot because that’s how we designed it.”

cards Details of the new park sections are available online.


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