Why hasn’t the university reduced the burden of parking on Ph.D. students?

Date: February 2022


Dear Deans,

Why has the university failed to do anything to reduce the financial and mental health burden of parking on Ph.D. students?

Full time research students’ work schedules are more similar to employee schedules and we typically don’t follow the standard academic calendar yet we’re stuck with the more limited, more expensive, parking options of undergraduates.

I have been parking in the Crescent lot but recently experienced an unforeseeable change in my carpool situation and I am now unable to purchase a sold out student permit. The only available options of B lot or daily decision lots are not reasonable alternatives to the Crescent lot in the dead of winter.

Is there really nothing the administration can do to minimize these types of situations from occurring? Is the stress of a Ph.D. program during a pandemic not enough that we also need to worry about transportation?


Marginalized Cornellian


Dear Marginalized Cornellian,

Parking availability on campus during weekdays is both frustratingly finite and in high demand this year. Availability is further reduced because of the North Campus residential expansion project that has temporarily reduced some capacity. As more students, faculty, and staff return to being on campus most days, all of us who commute by car are feeling this pressure. Like you, I park in the Crescent lot daily and sometimes find it full. I previously had a N permit along Tower Road, but it was unavailable when I tried to re-subscribe last year so my walk had already increased a bit. There were more parking options at the start of the academic year but many central campus lots are at capacity now at this point in the semester so, as you note, the remaining options are further out.

For graduate students who need to be on campus during on weekends or after 5 p.m., there are many options. There are also special accommodations for students who are expecting or nursing mothers. If you’d like more context about parking for graduate students there are seven other Ask a Dean messages on similar topics posted online (search for the word “parking” in the filter on the right).



Jason Kahabka
Associate Dean for Administration