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Mercer offers enough parking for students

in CAMPUS/VIEWPOINTS by
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Russ Chizek

Mercer’s parking lots are awesome. To think otherwise is ridiculous, illogical, and does nothing more than perpetuate the mindset of instant gratification that plagues our society.

On every college campus, there is a list of complaints. Some of these complaints can be easily justified qualitatively (ex. The food in the cafeteria is not good enough), or quantitatively (ex. Our club does not have enough financial backing), but the alleged problems with Mercer’s parking lots are not so black and white.

Mike Albert, a second year Game Design major at Mercer said, “Unless you get to the lot about a half hour before your class, you will be wandering the aisles looking for a spot… Not only is parking limited most times, but the walk to the buildings from all the parking lots is very far.”

Arguably the most common complaint about the Mercer parking lots is that the walk onto campus is long and arduous. If you do the math and crunch the numbers, the journey from car to campus is much more palpable.

If you measured the distance from the farthest spot in the west lot to the steps on the quad with a measuring wheel, you would find that the distance is 1585 feet. Repeating this same exercise from the back of the east lot would provide you with a measurement of 1734 feet.

These numbers may appear large at a first glance, but by applying some basic math, things come together. A study by Richard L. Knoblauch, Martin T. Pietrucha, and Marsha Nitzburg for TranSafety Inc. entitled, “Field Studies of Pedestrian Walking Speed and Start-Up Time,” says that the average walking speed for a pedestrian under the age of 65 is 4.95 feet per second.

Applying this average to the measurements taken means it only takes about 5.5 minutes to get to the center of campus from the furthest possible parking spots in either lot. Since Mercer students ravenously hunt down the closest possible place to park, many students have a much shorter walk than this.

Geographically, the parking lots here at Mercer are set up in the most choice locations possible. Whether you decide to park in the west or east lots, upon exiting your vehicle, the campus buildings are located directly in front of or behind you, which might seem obvious, but this is not always the case.

Students at Burlington County College, located 40 minutes away in Pemberton explain: “BCC has a lot of parking, just not in particularly useful areas. They choose to leave open a huge area in the middle of the college for nothing,” said first year Business Administration and management major at BCC, Ross Patterson.

Jared Umstead, Mercer alum and second year History and Political Science major at Rutgers University attended Burlington County College before transferring to Mercer. “BCC’s parking sucked,” Umstead said. “The majority of the parking was so much further away from the school than it is at Mercer. At Mercer, the west lot is always a great place to park.”

The time when you arrive to your class at Mercer makes very little difference as far as actually finding a spot. As the day progresses the lots do fill up, but very rarely to capacity. As evening approaches, the lots begin clearing out and students in night classes have little trouble parking.

On the first day of the fall semester, when all of the newly enrolled students show up to their first college classes, do yourself a favor and leave for class few minutes early. Be ready to settle on parking farther than you would like. On the bright side, you could probably use the exercise, and you can take the time to enjoy your cigarette before you start complaining about not being able to smoke on campus anymore.

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