Students talk parking problems


Dan Elson

Students say they wish campus parking lots had more spaces.

Olivia Sheridan, Reporter

“Oh boy, they’re assholes,” second-year transfer studies student Tristan Comba said about student drivers in the AACC parking lots. “It’s like they have road rage. They’re impatient. They don’t pay attention to their surroundings. They just don’t care.”
Comba isn’t the only student who feels this way. Other students told Campus Current they also find it difficult to safely drive through and park in the AACC lots.
AACC Police Chief Sean Kapfhammer said driving in campus parking lots comes with a short list of rules.
For starters, permitted parking spots are for faculty and staff only.
“Nobody else is supposed to park in them, and they have hang tags that indicate that,” Kapfhammer said.
But second-year student David Dallanegra said he often has trouble finding a spot to park in.
“I wish there were more available parking spots for students,” Dallanegra said. “There are a lot of permitted parking spots that people don’t use.”
The college’s executive director of administrative services, Jim Taylor, said the Arnold campus has 4,263 regular parking spaces, along with 118 accessible spots for disabled drivers.
Taylor said the amount of accessible parking spaces on campus is regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Anne Arundel County guidelines.
Kapfhammer said the faculty and staff who park in reserved spots must apply for permitted parking hang tags with the Department of Public Safety and Police. The hang tag must be visible when a car is parked in the permitted spots.
Kapfhammer said it is not uncommon to find unregistered cars parked in permitted spots. The fine for parking in a reserved faculty space is $35 and must be paid to the cashier’s office in the Student Services building within 28 days of the issued citation. Drivers who fail to pay the fine could be denied access to registration and other college services.
“Obviously, staff and handicapped spots [should] have priority,” Comba said. “But … with such a [large] amount of those permitted parking spots, it leaves the students very few parking spots, which kind of just causes more commotion as students fight over parking spots.”
But parking in the wrong spots isn’t Kapfhammer’s greatest concern.
Despite the students’ parking spot troubles, Kapfhammer said, “At the end of the day, the pedestrians in the parking lot are my primary concern.”
Campus police reported three car accidents on campus in October 2022, including one in a parking lot. This is an improvement from October 2021, when the police force reported four car accidents with no injuries.