Clare ramp creating problems

By Jessica Schurmann
Assistant Editor
The Clare apartment building has almost no flaws. Except one apparent issue that continues to be ignored by Viterbo: the steepness of the parking garage ramp.
In a survey of the Clare residents who own parking spots in the ga¬rage, 11 residents of the 31 reported having scraped their cars at least once since its opening in fall 2012.
As problems arose last semester, we (those using the garage) were told to try taking the ramp at an angle. When that did not stifle the complaints, we were told to try driving “as slowly as possible” up the ramp.
Despite all of these cautions, complaints were still heard, and we were told there was nothing we could do but try harder not to scrape. My car is a 1995 Mercedes Benz C220, and however slightly rusty in the undercarriage, it is in good shape and has needed no repairs in the three years I have owned it. On Jan. 26, my car also scraped on the ramp. Only this time, it wasn’t just a minor prob¬lem.
Right after the scrape, I drove down Market Street, and as I turned right onto Fourth Street, I heard a loud bang and then my car began rumbling loudly. My muffler was completely broken off at the exhaust connection, and the rubber piece holding the back end up was also torn. Held only by one small connection, I temporarily bungeed the muffler up until I was able to drive it to my dad’s house.
After assessing the damage, we discovered we would have to take my car to the shop. A weekend of hassle, a missed day of school and work and a trip to the auto shop culminated in a $53 fix to a problem that should have been solved a long time ago.
The poor design of the ramp can¬not be ignored any longer. It will need to be fixed sometime in the near future, preferably before more students are forced to pay out of pocket for unnecessary repairs.
When my situation was passed on the Physical Plant, their response to me was as follows:
“Hello Jessica,
I’m sorry to hear about your car. The damages to your vehicle, while unfortunate, aren’t the responsibil¬ity of the University due to any negligence. I know this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear.
The ramp was design was based on a number of factors but I won’t get into the technical details.
Regards, Eugene McCurdy”
Although I cannot speak for the others who had an issue with the ramp, I know that I personally was not negligent, and I still scraped my car. If there are technical reasons that prevent the ramp from being renovated to a smoother and less steep angle, I, as well as the other residents, would love to hear them.
Viterbo, please take care of your students and stop the problems before they get worse. Listen to the residents; we pay to park in the garage, not to fix car repairs.

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