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S(no)w Parking

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 9, 2011

Parking is always at a premium at UNH, regardless of the weather but these days of foot-high snow accumulations have added to the fray. It’s hard to see the lines, if they are visible at all. Parking spaces shrink, forcing folks to infringe on other spots. Tight quarters are tighter. And triple parking becomes a threat.

“Triple parking rears its head every winter, and it’s a real challenge. While it seems like it would be pretty obvious that you’re parking somebody in, the phenomenon is relentless year after year,” says Marc Laliberte, transportation operation manager.

Triple parking: that’s when three cars squeeze into two spaces, end to end, leaving one car in the middle unable to move until one of the others leaves. It seems like an easy situation to avoid—where else would you park behind someone if there was a car parked in front of them?—but it happens because the white lines marking the parking space are covered with snow. Or partially covered.

 “The only thing that seems to work is to have personnel on the ground right when the problem is about to start, and prevent it. Unfortunately, the problem is widespread across campus, and having enough people positioned everywhere the problem is likely is difficult,” Laliberte says.  “So, it’s urgent that people simply stay aware of their surroundings when they park on these days when snow obscures the lines. “

Buried and blurred lines also result in people parking in illegal spaces—spaces that, once the snow melts later in the day, clearly don’t exist. And that can lead to parking tickets with fines of  $50 for parking in an unauthorized space.

Laliberte suggests commuters plan ahead and try to anticipate the parking challenges that come with New Hampshire weather.

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