Students worry traffic will become worse with the possible tennis court relocation

Melanie Careri, Executive Producer: Newscast

The struggle to find a parking spot has raised concern amongst Quinnipiac University students as more classes are in-person this semester. A pending relocation of the tennis courts may lead to fewer student parking spaces in the North Lot.

North Lot currently has a total of 811 parking spaces. If the courts are in place, 18% of those parking spots will be taken away, leaving for a total of 666 spots. The Mount Carmel campus as a whole would lose 5% of its parking.

Third-year student Adnan Sadiku says he understands new tennis courts can benefit athletes. However, he believes the university needs to prioritize parking.

“Parking is something that we need to also manage and finding maybe a different location for those tennis courts might be the more appropriate route to take,” Sadiku said.

Charles Windels, a third-year graphic design major, is frustrated with the university’s lack of consideration for parking.

“I think if they were to consider putting in tennis courts they should think about parking first, and then the tennis courts should be a secondary decision,” Windels said.

The university is not willing to comment on managing parking in the case of the court relocation. Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi said to the Quinnipiac Chronicle in an article published in May, “There will be less parking in the North Lot, but we don’t really anticipate impact to anyone because we have more than enough parking on campus.”

Meanwhile, traffic continuously congests the Mount Carmel parking lots on weekdays. Some students say it can take them about 15-25 minutes to find a parking spot. Many have resorted to parking in Sleeping Giant State Park or the grass in the parking lot to avoid being late to class.

“Not having parking spots is definitely an issue,” third-year accounting major Taylor Catoggio said. “It’s causing people to be late for classes and some professors of mine are late to classes too.”

The Student Government Association Commuter Representative Helen Tran believes the university should also consider the feelings of commuter students.

“We also have to pay a parking fee, which makes no sense because with the tennis courts there, it’s not guaranteed we’ll get parking spots,” Tran said.

Tran says she understands that the relocation of the tennis courts can enhance the student experience, especially for athletes. However, she is skeptical whether moving the courts to North Lot will benefit other students, especially commuter students.

“I just don’t understand why they have to move it [the tennis courts] into parking spots because I think parking is pretty important, especially for commuters and for people to get to classes,” Tran said.

According to Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan, the university has reopened Hogan Lot for students and the total number of parking spots available across all campuses is 4,541, including the Whitney and Westview lots.

“These parking options are open to all resident and commuting students and are located on the university shuttle bus routes,” Morgan said. “Students living in both QU and non-QU-owned housing, including those living on York Hill and Whitney Village, are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the shuttle bus system and to use these lots when traveling to the Mount Carmel Campus.”

According to Hamden’s Assistant Town Planner Matthew Davis, the reconstruction and relocation of the tennis courts are currently pending approval at the Planning and Zoning Committee (PZC). If the action is approved, the relocation of the courts can move forward. However, the height of lighting poles may cause a potential setback.

“The PZC action is independent of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) action in that if the ZBA denies the light pole height variance, the PZC can still approve the court relocation, just not the light poles at the height desired,” Davis said. “Again, in that case, it would be up to QU to decide if they wanted to go ahead with the court relocation, just without lights.”

If the 145 parking spots are removed from North Lot, students will have to adapt to finding other spaces on campus.