Brock University Finally Offers Some Free Parking On Its St. Catharines, Niagara Campus

“Brock is the community’s university. We must make sure our neighbours feel welcome when they come to campus.” – Brock President Gervan Fearon

A News Release from Brock with a few introductory comments from Niagara At Large publisher and reporter Doug Draper

Posted February 28th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

When I was a student at Brock University in the 1970s, you could park your carin the campus lots any day, week or month of the year for free.

That’s right! Parking for all was absolutely free for the first couple of decades after  Brock first opened its doors at the top of the Niagara Escarpment in St. Catharines/Niagara in the mid to late 1960s.

Like other university and college campuses across the province and country for decades now, parking has been a kick in the pocketbook for faculty, students and visitors from the community alike. File photo by Doug Draper

But like many other university and college campuses across the country, that hasn’t been the case for a long, long time as these post-secondary institutions saw reductions in funding from the federal and provincial governments, and felt forced to find other ways of getting money to cover their costs.

And one of the many ways of doing that was to charge for parking, and it didn’t matter whether it was faculty, students or visitors from the community – on came the parking fees, and they were pretty steep ones too.

Frankly, this reporter got so fed up paying these fees – especially if I was being called there by the someone on campus to do a story that was all about promoting something they were doing – that I stopped going altogether. I just said; “Email me what you’ve got and I’ll see if I can make a story out of it, because I refuse to pay the ridiculous parking fees.”

The Brock University campus at the top of the Niagara Escarpment in St. Catharines, Ontario.

And I’ve  felt even worse for the students, who are already paying a higher percentage of whatever money they might earn than I could ever imagine when I was going to university 40-plus years ago.

So finally, at Brock University, at least, an announcement has just been made that there will be some partial relief on parking fees, and here are the details in a news statement that was released by the university this February 27th –

Community to benefit from new Brock University free parking model

It will soon be easier for visitors to Brock University to access campus, thanks to a new parking model coming this spring.

From May 1 through Aug. 31, parking permits and meter receipts will no longer be needed for Zones 1 and 2 during the spring and summer months. The lots, which are on the west side of Glenridge Avenue and Merrittville Highway, will be open for all employees, students and visitors to park day and night, except between 2 and 5 a.m.

From Sept. 1 through April 30, Zones 1 and 2 will be free after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends, except between 2 and 5 a.m.

Brock President Gervan Fearon said the new model will favourably impact hundreds of Niagara residents who come to campus for everything from lectures and conferences, to swim lessons and participating in projects with Brock researchers.

The new model also adds value to the University’s Spring/Summer course offerings, which run from May until the end of August.

Fearon said that in the seven months since he first arrived at the University, he has heard members of the public say that parking costs dissuade more people from coming to campus.

“We hope this small change during less busy times can help provide our community partners with more opportunities for engagement,” he said. “Brock is the community’s university. We must make sure our neighbours feel welcome when they come to campus.”

More information on the refund process and frequently asked questions about the new parking model is available at brocku.ca/parking

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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