May 27, 2010
With the school year coming to a close, Ohio University will soon see an influx of parents and guests visiting campus. Whether for move out week or commencement, parents and guests will have to work around parking rules and numerous construction projects and delays when entering the city.
The biggest construction project is the roundabout at Richland Avenue and SR 682. Construction is only in Phase 1 and the number of open traffic lanes has been reduced. According to Ohio University Deputy Chief of Police Mark Mathews, parents and guests entering Athens should plan for delays and give themselves the extra time to arrive and depart the city.
Beginning June 8, Parking Services will issue temporary rules to make the move out process simple for students and the city.
Parking Services will allow parking in fire lanes and in paved areas outside dormitories for students to load boxes and heavy items into their vehicles. There will be a 30-minute maximum associated with this parking to ensure that all students are given the chance to park in these areas and load their vehicles. Parents can only keep their vehicles in the loading area when items are physically being loaded into the car. Exceeding the time limit will result in a $25 fine.
Parents will have to find a metered parking spot or park in the Baker University Center garage or city parking garage after their 30 minutes in the fire lane or paved area,. All parking regulations are in effect for finals week as they are during the regular school year, according to Martin Paulins, Ohio University director of transportation and parking services.
Anyone who parks in a lot requiring a permit will run the risk of being ticketed. Tickets for parking in a lot without that lot's designated permit will be $30. Exceeding the two-hour limit at a meter will cost $10, but will increase to $15 if not paid within 48 hours. Vehicles parked in a metered space longer than the allowed time may also be issued a $25 citation for "overtime parking."
When students have finished loading their vehicles and moving out of their dormitories, they should plan to leave campus. If, however, parents and students wish to remain in Athens, parents should be aware of the possibility of theft.
"In the past, we have experienced a number of thefts from motor vehicles during this time of year," Mathews said. "Students and parents should not leave their vehicles unlocked and unattended. Some don't think it'll be that big of a deal to leave it for a few minutes. However, a couple of minutes are all a thief needs. Cars should be locked at all times and someone should stay with the vehicle when loading."
If someone is the victim of theft while on campus they should contact the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) immediately at 740-593-1911.
Ohio University's 2010 commencement ceremonies will take place in the Convocation Center on Friday, June 11, for graduate students and Saturday, June 12, for undergraduate students. With the construction on the Richland Ave. and SR 682 roundabout continuing through the week, parents and guests visiting campus should plan for delays.
"On Friday and Saturday we will use all available lots and parking space to park family and guests attending the ceremonies," Mathews said. "My two tips to family and guests are [to] plan for traffic delays and follow signs and police officer directions. The OUPD and the APD [Athens Police Department] will have police officers out helping direct traffic in and out of the area. Construction has closed down over half the traffic lanes in the Richland Avenue at State Route 682 area. People can expect delays no matter how many officers we put in the streets."
The lots around the Convocation Center -- Lots 128, 129 and the Convocation Center garage -- will be cleared of cars for both ceremonies. Lot 128 will reserved for handicap identified vehicles only. OUPD requested that drivers ensure that a state-issued handicap permit is displayed at all times while parked in that lot. Individuals without a valid handicap permit who need additional assistance may be dropped off at the Limited Mobility Drop Off Area, located off of Shafer Street on the south side of the Convocation Center. However, there is no parking in that area.
Both OUPD and Student Affairs will use all available lots to park guests and family for the ceremonies. There will be no ticketing during commencement and parents and guests are welcome to park in any of the available parking lots on campus.