Commuters have more than 3,100 parking spots at their disposal at Humber College’s North campus. There are 15 lots on campus and two overflow lots ready to use for any student in need. Yet parking has become a daily headache for many, leading outraged drivers to meander aimlessly between rows of cars trying to find that one lucky spot.
Lauren Hoyles, a second-year event-planning student at Humber is a daily meanderer whose frustration mounts with every trip to school.
Some days there just aren’t spots available, no matter how good her planning skills, Hoyles said.
“Getting to Humber 40 minutes early still doesn’t leave me enough time to find anywhere to park and get too class on time,” said Hoyles.
This year Hoyles has not purchased a parking pass, instead opting to use pay-on-exit lots.
Last year, with a $600 parking pass hanging from her rear-view mirror, Hoyles said the parking was so bad that “people eventually started making their own spots”.
She said she has been forced to walk up from the street when completely unable to find a spot.
“I have had to park at McDonald’s and walk more times than I can count,” Hoyles said. “Even in a blizzard.”
Parking up the street and walking is a popular method for many commuters who would rather do that than pay $7 a day to park in a pay-on-exit lot.
Second-year paralegal student Brian Uzebor said there is no point in paying for a parking pass when you can walk.
“I park by the buildings across the street because it’s inconvenient for me to pay $7 each day. It’s quite costly,” Uzebor said. “I use [Lot 1] which is free after 5 p.m. if I don’t have to come earlier.”
There are alternatives to the dreaded walk across the street. Director of Public Safety at Humber Rob Kilfoyle reminds drivers of the overflow lots that rarely full.
“We recommend students, particularly those that have classes that start mid-morning and in the early afternoon, go directly to the Queen’s Plate lot and take the bus to campus to avoid the frustration of driving around,” said Kilfoyle. “The Queens Plate lot remains unfilled daily.”
Parking at the Queen’s Plate lot requires drivers to either pay-on-exit ($4 for less than 4 hours, $7 for more) or pay for a $600 parking pass. The Queen’s Plate lot is also located almost 2 km from the main Humber lots and requires students to take a shuttle bus leaving every 15 minutes up Highway 27 to campus.
Parking problems at Humber remain unresolved for many students, as the popular Humber based Facebook page ‘Spotted at Humber’ reveals many students speculating on reasons behind the congestion. Many surmise that the school has in fact sold more parking passes than there are spots. But Kilfoyle said this is simply not the case.
“We sell about 880 permits for students and additional 300 for Guelph-Humber students,” said Kilfoyle,
“We used to sell 1000 permits (excluding Guelph-Humber) but with the reduction of parking lots for the LRC (Learning Resource Commons) construction and the pressure we’ve experienced, we have reduced that,” he said.
Lauren Hoyles has her own theory.
“Parking staff wander around and don’t bother taking down the “Full Lot” signs when on more than one occasion I’ve seen parking spots in there,” she said.
Kilfoyle described a much simpler cause.
“Everyone wants the convenience of being able to park their single-occupant vehicle as close as possible,” he said.
“With over 27,000 people traveling to campus and competing for 3800 parking stalls (both Lakeshore and North campuses combined), not everyone is going to be able to find something, that’s the reality,” Kilfoyle said.