CORNER BROOK — Students and faculty and staff are supportive of the city putting a stop to parking alongside University Drive adjacent Grenfell Campus, say representatives of both groups.
As of Monday, the City of Corner Brook gave notice to Memorial University’s west coast campus that it will issue tickets for parking violations along the stretch of road commonly used for parking.
It was deemed a safety concern due to the narrow street, especially for emergency vehicles and large trucks. The issue has become particularly worrisome since the Corner Brook Long Term Care Centre opened behind Grenfell.
Nick Mercer, vice-president external of the Grenfell Campus Student Union, said the group was consulted on the decision and saw the request as reasonable due to the safety concerns.
“Before we agreed to it, we looked to make sure there is ample parking at the university,” he said.
There is not a shortage of parking at Grenfell, according to Mercer, just areas which are underused. The biggest challenge is to get students to park in the different designated parking zones — areas near the Arts and Culture Centre and former Rec Plex, as well as in the vicinity of the Pepsi Centre.
“What we want to do now is ensure these parking areas are entirely safe and accessible,” he said.
Connie Fudge, manager of campus enforcement and patrol, agreed with Mercer. She said University Drive may have been the preferred area to park because of its close proximity to the food court and Backlot, but free parking is available in those other areas.
“I think people are not used to permit parking in Corner Brook,” she said. “Most universities across Canada have permit parking. We are probably the only campus that I know for that offers general or free parking.”
Notices were posted throughout the university, according to Fudge, and an officer was posted in the area to notify people parking there that they would be ticketed. The officer will be there again today.
Coun. Josh Carey said the measures had to be taken, given the increased amount of traffic in recent years, especially since the long-term care centre was built and the brand new student residence opened.
“It’s more for the safety of the students on that hill at this point in time and for the safety of residents travelling in the area, given the narrowness of that road,” said Carey, who asked that the information be added to Monday night’s public city council meeting.
Mayor Charles Pender also reminded motorists that the posted speed limit along University Drive, as it is for all school zones, is 30 km/h.