As a former University of New England student on the Portland campus, I find the parking situation along Stevens Avenue to be a nightmare.

As a longtime parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church, this has also affected me and my fellow parishioners attending Holy Day and funeral Masses on weekdays when classes are in session.

While the article “Deering parking at a premium” (Dec. 6) discusses the Bishop Street satellite parking lot as a solution to the issue, it fails to mention that the university charges for parking in that lot and stops providing shuttles to and from the lot at 5 p.m.

Many classes go past 5 p.m., and the 10-minute walk to that lot is along a wooded path out of sight of trafficked areas. The shuttle only has one dropoff/pickup location on the edge of campus, far enough away from many central locations on campus that it is often more convenient for students and staff to park on Stevens Avenue, closer to campus.

The university spokesman, Mark Nahorney, says that a parking garage is too expensive. But that has not stopped the university from building a dental school, which brought additional students and staff along with their vehicles to the campus.

I understand that local residents are upset about the current parking situation. What I do not understand is the idea of forcing students to use the remote parking lot, when it is inadequate for the purpose it is supposed to serve. The parking situation, for UNE or any other university, should be safe and convenient and meet the needs of its students and staff.

Colleen Szymczuk Bossie

Westbrook