Open Spaces: Bowdoin Visitor Parking Made Easier by New Plan

 

Visitors to Bowdoin will soon have quite a few more places to park, following changes to the College’s parking policies announced on Thursday. Beginning Monday, August 27, visitors to the Admissions office, the College museums, and other campus venues will be able to park in centrally located lots previously reserved for students, faculty, and staff.

The move — which follows a comprehensive analysis of Bowdoin’s parking needs — improves accessibility and preserves green space by likely eliminating the need to build a new parking lot or an expensive parking structure. Students, faculty, and staff who previously parked in these areas have been relocated to other parking areas on campus that are within ready walking distance. Sr. VP and Treasurer Katy Longley made the parking announcement in an email message Thursday.

To Bowdoin Faculty, Staff, and Students:

With the start of the academic year, the College is beginning to implement changes aimed at creating a more effective and rational parking plan for Bowdoin faculty, staff, students, and visitors. These changes, which have the full support of President Mills, were recommended by our parking consultant following open campus discussions last spring.

The immediate changes, effective Monday, August 27, include:

  • Relocating student vehicles from the Coffin Street lot to underutilized lots at the Farley Field House and Watson Arena;
  • Designating the Coffin Street lot as a faculty/staff/visitor lot during the day;
  • Designating the entire Burton-Little House lot as an Admissions visitor lot; and
  • Designating the Russwurm House lot as a general visitor lot.

(The map below indicates the location of these lots.)

The overall goal of these and future changes is to enhance and improve parking at Bowdoin without adding paved surfaces or an expensive and unsightly parking garage. Based on our parking study, we believe it is possible to solve many of our parking issues while also enhancing and preserving green space on campus. We know from the study that there are a sufficient number of parking spaces available at the College—we simply need to work better as a community to use these spaces more efficiently and to enforce existing parking policies.

With these changes, we seek to foster a “park once” approach that promotes sustainability and makes our campus more accessible and pedestrian-friendly. The hope is that students, faculty, and staff will park once when they arrive on campus and then walk as much as possible during the day. We also seek to increase the number of parking spots available to visitors, especially at Admissions, but also generally close to Thorne Hall and Moulton Union. We recognize that as a visitor lot, Russwurm may be empty or partially empty during the day. While this may be frustrating to students, faculty, and staff, the availability of visitor parking on the central campus eliminates the need to sacrifice green space for an additional parking lot near Thorne Hall and will save the considerable expense of building and maintaining another parking lot.

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Coffin Street Lot
Students who previously parked in the Coffin lot will now park their vehicles in the Farley and Watson parking lots, which are largely underutilized. Parking will be made available at Coffin for College departments, including Admissions, H-L Library, Student Affairs, Dining, IT, and others.

Burton-Little Lot
The Burton-Little parking lot is now reserved for visitors to Admissions. This includes the area on the east side of the building previously used by Admissions employees and other staff.

Russwurm Lot
The Russwurm parking lot is now reserved for general visitors to the College. Faculty and staff parking will no longer be permitted here. Zipcars and carpooling spots will be moved to Tower Drive.

Student Parking
Student parking lots are clearly marked with new signage. Student vehicles bearing a 2012-13 student parking decal may park in any of the following student parking lots:

  • Farley Field House
  • Watson Ice Arena
  • Harpswell Apartments
  • Pine Street Apartments
  • Brunswick Apartments
  • Mayflower Apartments
  • Smith House
  • Stowe Inn
  • 10 Cleaveland Street
  • Howell House
  • Burnett House
  • Helmreich House
  • MacMillan House
  • Quinby House
  • Reed House

Students who register their vehicles with the College will still be permitted to park in any campus parking lot on weekday nights (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) and on weekend, with the exception of the Burton Little lot on Saturdays (until 6:00 a.m. on Mondays).

Parking on town streets is also permitted as long as students obey local parking laws. Some streets (e.g., Cleaveland Street) have a two-hour parking limit, while others (e.g., Park Row and South Street) prohibit overnight parking (1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.). The Brunswick Police Department will continue to enforce the parking ordinance on Town streets.

Handicapped Parking
The College will make parking available closer to the central campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities.

Enforcement
Enforcement is a key component of any effective parking plan, so Bowdoin Security will be stepping up campus parking enforcement this year. Parking fines start at $25 and repeat violators will be towed. Faculty, staff, and students who want to park on campus are expected to register their vehicles with the College; those who do not are subject to having their vehicles towed. Information regarding vehicle registration can be found at http://www.bowdoin.edu/security/parking/registration.shtml

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We ask that you comply with these parking regulations as we work together as a community to make our campus more accessible, more sustainable, and safer for pedestrians.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Katy Longley

Comments

  1. Mark Smith '58 says:

    Do you mean Monday the 27th or some other Monday?

  2. Right you are! It is Monday, August 27th.

  3. Sarah Conly says:

    I hope someone actually enforces these parking rules, and not just in the now-changed lots–there are constantly cars without blue stickers parked in the lots supposedly requiring these, meaning faculty are pushed out of the lots designated for them. Our lot is right next to Security, but I’ve never seen any indication that anyone notices that visitor cars are parked in what is supposed to be faculty parking. Without enforcement this all becomes pretty theoretical.

  4. James A Pierce says:

    About time!

  5. Amy Heggie says:

    Being able to reliably find a spot in the Coffin lot will be great. But as Sarah Conly points out, unless the new rules are enforced, nothing will change. I work in the library and have been using the Russwurm lot. Day after day I’d see the same (unstickered) student vehicles parked there. Unless these students are required to sticker their cars and park in their designated lots, what you’ll have are a whole bunch of really convenient student parking spots! Same goes for visitor cars in “blue lots.
    Another thing to consider is that, in the colder months, there needs to be safe walkways free of ice and snow.
    All in all, I think the trade-off of a little walk in return for a guaranteed spot is fair enough, though.

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