CUP OF JOE: Parking Issues for Commuter Students


The Harman Group

The University’s I-1 Garage is the largest of the parking areas on campus.

Joe Adams, Opinion Columnist

Lately, I have heard a lot of complaints from my fellow Wildcats. One complaint in particular is the trouble with parking on campus. 

I live on West Campus. I am lucky enough to have a parking spot, but it can be frustrating when I have to circle West Campus over and over just to find a spot. When we have to pay to park on campus, it should be easier to find a spot. I believe the best course of action would be to build a parking garage on West, right outside of St. Mary’s. 

I know it sounds ambitious, but it seems like the best way to go about it at the current moment. Villanova is a walkable campus, but to get to restaurants, stores, pharmacies and even emergency doctor visits, a car is the best way to go. Sure, the train runs down the Main Line, but often, it does not go exactly where we want for it to go, which then makes it hard to actually go out and have the ability to get around specific places.

A few weeks ago, I asked my Instagram followers about their thoughts on whether there should be more parking on campus. 

“With the increasing freshman classes, Villanova is gaining students, so we need more parking,” one student said.

“If we have the opportunity to bring our cars on campus, we should have more parking options so we aren’t always worried about getting a ticket,” another said.

A lot of students brought up the fact that West Campus is in the most need of more parking spaces.

“There’s never enough parking on West.” 

“We need more West parking.” 

“West Campus does not have enough parking for everyone who lives there.”

Clearly, students shared my sentiments and frustrations with the parking system. One of my roommates, Brendan Tierney, commented on the situation. 

“Less confusion should be a priority,” Tierney said. “The whole system confuses me.”

While West Campus is something that I am focused on due to where I live, I also started thinking about students who commute to Villanova’s campus. A few weeks ago, I had a commuter student, Landon Carter, reach out to me to share some of his concerns with parking in the Ithan Avenue Parking Garage. 

He emailed me the following:

“I wanted to bring to your attention issues involving the Ithan Avenue Parking Garage, particularly as it relates to commuter students. This semester, the lot has been extremely congested, and it is difficult to find a parking spot. Earlier this afternoon, I spent 20 minutes trying to find a spot. I noticed other students in this situation; as all of us were driving in circles to find a spot.

“This situation has been worsened by the fact that Guests, Friends of Villanova and patrons of the Refectory are all allowed to use the parking garage,” he continued. “To make matters worse there are several levels that are restricted to students that are residents of the Commons, making parking options for Commuter students more limited. This seems extremely unfair to students who have to pay tuition in addition to paying $105 for a year-round spot to use the garage. Maybe these Friends of Villanova guests could be directed somewhere else to park.”

This was discouraging to hear, as I did not realize that this issue went beyond on-campus students. Again, I wonder if building another parking garage or lot on campus, exclusively for guests and visitors, would be beneficial for students trying to find parking.

In the next year or two, I know that this situation will get worse due to even larger class sizes. I strongly believe that if Villanova is proactive now and adds more parking in a few locations around campus, the situation will improve and students’ frustrations will begin to subside.