Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Parking search difficult, even with pass


Nina Danilyan lives off campus and loves Alabama football. She goes out of her way to attend every home game she can, but she said the stress of figuring out how to get to campus often overshadows the excitement of the football games.

“One of the biggest causes of stress on gamedays, if not the biggest, is parking,” Danilyan, a senior majoring in communications, said. “There are too many cars on campus for the amount of parking available.”

Because Danilyan lives off campus, she said she has to struggle through gameday traffic to get to campus only to then begin searching for parking.

She said her search is made more challenging due in part to the massive crowds that make the weekend pilgrimage to Tuscaloosa, adding to the thousands of students, all attempting to find the best parking available to get to the game.

Though many students choose to purchase parking passes through the University, finding parking on gamedays still proves to be difficult. For some, like Danilyan, this is perhaps the single most anxiety-inducing part of her gameday celebrations.

“Trying to get to games as an off-campus student is the biggest headache,” she said.

Searching for parking is especially frustrating she said because she purchased a parking pass from the University at the beginning of the semester specifically so she wouldn’t have to worry about finding a spot.

“I think if we have a parking pass, we should be able to park in that area on gamedays,” she said.

Parking passes do not always ensure off-campus students a place to park on home game Saturdays.

Nick Frenz, assistant director of parking services, said there are various game day parking options for students who live off campus. He said students can either park at the Upper Recreation Center lot off of 5th Avenue East or in the large parking lot located on Campus Drive East between Bryce Lawn Drive and Fraternity Lane.

Frenz said the Upper Recreation Center lot has 405 parking spaces and the lot off of Campus Drive East has 355 parking spaces. He said these 760 spots are free of charge and reserved specifically for students with commuter parking passes.

Chris D’Esposito, director of parking services, said the University has sold 10,611 commuter parking passes as of Sept. 16. Though not all of these commuters come to every home game, there is only enough reserved on-campus parking available for about seven percent of students with commuter parking passes.

Frenz said free parking is also available at the Downtown Intermodal Facility parking deck.

“Bus rides from there are only $1,” he said. “It is less than a one mile walk to the stadium too from that location.”

Though public parking on campus can be scarce and typically costs between $20 to $30, the Crimson Ride offers free rides to and from the Quad from the east campus lots. Additionally, students who live off campus may also choose to park at the University Mall and ride a shuttle to the south side of the stadium for $10 roundtrip.

Finding parking on gameday is not only an issue for off-campus students who commute. Students who live on campus and have orange parking permits, which are designated for areas around the stadium and Tutwiler Hall, are required to relocate their car by 5 p.m. Fridays before each home game. Some residents find it difficult to park elsewhere.

Jessica Miller, a freshman majoring in criminal justice, lives in an orange residential area and said this is a huge issue for her.

“It’s not right,” she said. “When you pay $300-something for a parking pass and then have to move your car, its a pain.”

Frenz said the University has parking available for all students in orange residential areas that have to move their car on gamedays.

“The Athletic Department requires us to move orange residential students out of the area around Tutwiler,” he said. “But, we accommodate all the students that have to move from the orange parking area around Tutwiler in other areas of campus.”

Miller said even though the University requires that she moves her car, she isn’t aware of any good alternative options.

“I move my car to the parking deck at the Ferg, but even then I have to pay for it and I already paid to have a parking pass,” she said.

Frenz said even more parking will be available for displaced orange residential vehicles once the parking deck near Barnwell Hall is complete. Though parking on home gamedays can be a pain, he said there are various options available for students, and all cars can be accommodated.

“When these are all used, we suggest that students consult and use any of the many options available for parking,” he said.

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