Fun fact: NJIT is a school with a majority-commuter population, with 79% of students commuting to campus according to U.S. News.
This year’s incoming class has increased NJIT’s enrollment to almost 12,000 students. The first-year class has seen a 30% rise in students. 3,578 of these are drivers who pray daily to not get involved in an accident or scratch their vehicle. Despite this huge growth in the commuter population, students are still waiting for an upcoming parking deck that will fit only 76 cars — representing a 2.9% increase in deck and lot spaces for students. Unfortunately, the parking capacity of NJIT’s campus has remained effectively unchanged since the introduction of the Science & Technology Park Garage in 2016.
As a commuter, I can recite all the problems that a driver may encounter while traveling to school. For example, on the very first day of classes, most new and immature drivers like me were in tears because finding parking was difficult. Once you run over something to find a parking space, then the issue of whether or not your car is between the marked lines comes up. If not, another student driver might scratch your car during the daytime. If all these issues are resolved, students may panic in the last stage of the process, which is to find the exit.
Some say that parking services need to work on maintaining the elevators in the parking lots, as they are unhygienic and smell unbearably. Others want the lots to clarify the posted signs. Those who have vehicles while residing on campus are disappointed that they struggle to find parking, considering that the fee for a parking pass for residents is $490 per semester.
Robert N. Gjini, Assistant Vice President for Facility Systems, responded to common concerns and queries regarding the situation of parking on campus. He advised students to always be prepared to come before the class starts. Gjini recommended that commuters always check which parking lots have vacant spaces left rather than searching for parking last-minute. Whenever students are in trouble finding a parking spot, they can find parking availability through NJIT’s mobile parking website, http://mobile.njit.edu/parking/. Gjini asserted that in his tenure, NJIT has not witnessed a situation where all the parking lots are all filled up.
Despite some problems, I and all commuters thank the NJIT Department of Public Safety and the Newark Police Department. Their hard work every day ensures our safety, and I have to salute their efforts to handle the huge population of commuters with such ease. The mornings when they divide the drivers into two lanes and then enter the parking lot at Summit Street in different groups will always remind me of the glorious day I passed my driver’s test, hoping not to hit the bright fluorescent cones.
Here are some of my suggestions to the department:
Firstly, there should be more awareness about the numerous parking lots around campus in order to not overcrowd the one at Summit Street. Secondly, Lot 12, a parking lot with unknown capacity that is currently used to store vehicles and trailers for NJIT’s racing team, should be permanently staffed. Thirdly, the price of the resident parking permit should be increased. Lastly, the regulations regarding speeding in the parking lots should be stricter.
If you have any questions regarding parking, visit the Facilities Systems, Photo Identification and Parking Services Department office at 131 Summit St. or contact ParkingSystem@njit.edu. The Off-Campus Commuter Association, which aims to serve the commuter population at NJIT, can also assist you by providing information, workshops, and social events benefiting students who regularly commute by car, train, bus, bike, or foot.
In the end, all drivers should try to be patient and relaxed while commuting. Stay safe!