WITSIES now have less space to park with some bright, yellow poles blocking off the parking bays in front of the Chamber of Mines building and opposite CCDU.
The reason for these new additions, according to Emannuel Prinsloo, director of Campus Development and Planning, is to provide students with a safe walkway from the newly built Wits Science Stadium to the Amic Deck.
“When the Science Stadium is operating at full capacity as from February 2012, approximately 3 500 to 4 000 students may move between the two campuses and pedestrian movement along the north and south spine past the Village Cafe is no longer feasible,” Prinsloo says.
Nyiko Mnisi, a 2nd year BSc student, says closing off the parking bays is contributing to the parking problem that Wits has. He does not have a car but says his friends have problems with parking.
“Closing those parking bays shows that they (Wits) are not committed to solving the parking problem,” Mnisi says.
Second year mechanical engineering student, Gordyn Loubscher, says it will not make much of a difference to the parking problem. He says pedestrians should be safe because no one drives too fast down the road but that it is better to be safe.
Prinsloo says short-term parking spaces will be available at the eastern end of the Science Stadium but they will be removed once construction on the proposed Mathematical Sciences Building begins.
“We are hoping to have concluded a usage agreement with our neighbour at John Orr Technical School (near West Campus Village), which will yield additional student parking opportunities,” he says.
Prinsloo says the agreement with John Orr is an ongoing process but they wish to conclude it as soon as possible.
Abi Morgan, a 2nd year BSc student in anatomy and physiology, says the walkway will be better for pedestrians but for the first years who used to park in those parking bays, “it sucks”.
“There is chaos on that road in any case and people are now parking illegally on the side of the road,” says Morgan.
Another 2nd year BSc student, Lebogang Mohlahlana, says that pedestrians need to be safe but “not if it is an inconvenience to other students”. She says her one friend came (to class?) late because she couldn’t find parking.
The parking areas to the west of the Chamber of Mines building will also be redesigned so pedestrians will be safe walking from the Enoch Sontonga parking lot to the Science Stadium.