A 60-spot parking lot across from Stamp Student Union will open to commuter students this semester in response to growing concerns about the loss of spaces due to campus construction.
The parking lot, currently lot HH1, is located across Campus Drive from Stamp Student Union and will be renamed the Student Lottery Lot, Department of Transportation Services director David Allen said. The lot was initially supposed to be closed for construction, Anna McLaughlin, DOTS assistant director wrote in an email.
DOTS will use a lottery to choose the students who will receive permission to park in the lot. An email will go out to all registered commuter students on Thursday with a link to enter the lottery, and students have until Feb. 5 to register, Allen said.
Allen called the lot "by far the best student parking that there has ever been." Though most lots on the campus are open to faculty, the new lot will be open exclusively to student commuters, Allen said. Parking will be available to students granted access to the lot from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, after which the lot is open to anyone, he added.
The lot will be available to commuter students through the spring semester and possibly through the summer. Once construction on the Purple Line begins, the lot will no longer be available for use and instead will serve as a bus depot, Allen said.
Purple Line construction was initially slated to start in October, but a judge stalled proceedings in August, stating that federal officials first needed to assess the effect that Metro's declining ridership would have on the rail service.
Elonna Jones, a government and politics major and a commuter student, said she would definitely be entering the lottery. Her commute from Baltimore is at least an hour, and a parking spot closer to the heart of campus would mean a shorter walk to her classes, making it easier for her to be on time, Jones said.
"Right now I park in lot 7, near Richie [Coliseum]. It's such a far walk from most of my classes." Jones said.
With only 60 spots, the Student Lottery Lot won't do much to ease the strain on campus parking, Allen said. But the lot "wasn't designed to do that," Allen said. "It will ease the parking burden for 60 people, and if you can do that, why not?"
DOTS will begin accepting applications for the lottery starting Thursday.