By: Commentator Staff  | 

Heavy Traffic for Parking Pass Application Frustrates Many

Students and alumni hoping to obtain parking passes for the Fall semester were treated to an unwelcome surprise yesterday morning when they arrived at the security office to apply and pay for their passes. These coveted “nights and weekends” passes, which cost $80 per semester for students and $150 per semester for alumni, allow their holders to park in certain YU parking lots from 6pm to 8am on weeknights and from 3pm on Friday until 8am Sunday morning. The YU Security Department announced on August 9 that these permits would become available on August 29 at 9am, and that they would be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

The application process, though not without its occasional hiccups, has been relatively smooth in the past; in previous years, a person who arrived in the security office on the morning that the passes became available could reasonably expect to obtain a pass. Students and alumni were therefore nonplussed yesterday morning when they arrived to discover the sidewalk outside the security office packed with people hoping for parking passes. Many arrived at the office early, hoping to finish their applications before heading off to work or classes, but the growing gaggle of people soon overwhelmed the security office and was shepherded outside to wait on the street. Approximately 50 people were already lined up by 8:45, and the line had swelled to around 100 people by 9:15. Security required applicants to turn in their student ID’s in order to wait in line, rendering students unable to leave the line even if they wished to do so. The sidewalk itself came to look like a human parking lot, as the line moved forward at a snail’s pace. Security officials called in three applicants every fifteen minutes or so, leaving disgruntled students and alumni waiting outside in the heat and grumbling audibly.

In the past, students were given an opportunity to buy passes several days before alumni. It is unclear why this system, which scattered applicant traffic, wasn't used this year.

“It wasn't quite how I planned on spending my first morning seder back from the summer,” said RIETS student and YC alum Shaya First. “We understood that they weren't expecting such a large crowd, but were disappointed in just how long it took for them to come up with a feasible plan to allow people to leave and come back later without having to worry about losing their spots on line.” Gabi Weinberg, also a YC alum and current RIETS student, explained that the application process itself involved “the typical YU ping-pong effect,” where students and alumni “were required to first drop by the security office, then submit their payment in the office of student finance, only to then be instructed to return to the security office in order to finalize the application.” This inefficient system prolonged the already tedious process and contributed to the general frustration. The security office, which handles the security of campus parking lots and allocation of parking spots, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Finally, at around 10:45, security officials began to hand out numbered cards, advising students to leave the line now marked by velvet ropes and stanchions and to return at various later times. The process is still ongoing – some students were told to return as late as Wednesday to submit their applications. As of Tuesday afternoon, many applicants have reported receiving their applications. But since security officials mysteriously declined to disclose the number of available spots to latecomers, many are still waiting with bated breath, hoping and praying that their automobiles will be granted a home in the heights.