Cottages of mayhem
New community already facing major issues
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
The Cottages of Durham have housed residents for just a few short weeks, but enough problems have already arisen to question the haste in which the community was built.
The bus situation is of chief concern and has been mishandled on multiple fronts over these past few days. On Friday night, after a group of rowdy partygoers attempted to tip over a bus, UNH Transportation Services made the decision to stop servicing the Cottages route for the remainder of the night.
That move left dozens of students who had taken the bus there earlier in the night stranded two miles from the center of campus. Late on a weekend night, many did not have a friend sober enough to drive them home. Most walked back to campus, along a dark stretch of route 155A that is not meant for foot travel, especially at night time.
Cottage residents who went downtown for the night were left in the same situation, with no way back to their houses except by foot or a fortunate ride home. Amazingly, not even the so-called Safe Rides, a program run by Transportation Services, would help those looking to safely travel to and from the Cottages.
The Cottages bus service was suspended on Saturday night as well after Friday night’s incident. At least this time residents were given fair warning and had time to prepare.
But the decision to discontinue the bus service on Friday night was irresponsible and shortsighted on the part of Transportation Services. Many students were punished for the crimes of a few. It left them in a dangerous situation, far from campus with no viable way of getting back to their dorms and apartments.
The transportation fiasco is not the only problem Cottage residents have faced. Many buildings were put together in haste, with residents moving into their houses to find missing light fixtures, outlet covers and even dishwashers. Some moved in to find holes in the walls of their brand new buildings. It is abundantly clear that many of these houses were built as quickly as possible, with little regard for quality.
Taking out the trash has even become problematic for Cottage residents. There is just one dumpster in a community of 619 people. On Sunday evening, the dumpster was surrounded by a mountain of trash bags.
The Cottage website claims to have a clubhouse open 24 hours a day. Yet residents were notified last week that the clubhouse would be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and not 24 hours a day due to “the lack of responsibility and respect for our property.”
But it is the Cottages’ management that should take responsibility for its own shortcomings. After all, they are the ones charging a high price to live in buildings that, in many cases, were falling apart before residents even moved in.
They failed to ensure that their tenants would have safe transport to and from their houses over this past weekend after UNH Transit pulled the rug out from under those waiting for buses. Before blaming some inebriated college students for its community’s problems, the Cottages’ management should focus on fixings its own mistakes.