Popular opinion on campus is that there aren’t enough parking spaces. After interviewing students on campus, many agree.
“This angers me. I paid $100 for a parking permit so that I wouldn’t have to drive around for 15 minutes to find one, and so that I could park close and not walk,” said Brandy Lockhart, a junior who lives off campus.
Four of the five students interviewed stated that they have had to make adjustments to their routine before class in order to find a parking spot close enough to their destination. Waiting for spaces to open is also an issue for some.
However, contrary to popular opinion, there are more than enough spaces to accommodate commuter and residential students alike. In an interview regarding the issue of parking, Police Chief Cummings said, “Of the 3,253 spaces on campus, 576 are designated to faculty and staff, 1,074 to residential students, 649 to commuters, and 589 to general parking lots (which are available for anyone’s use).”
This gives residential and commuter students 1,723 spaces combined, not to mention an additional 589 spaces in general parking. So what’s with this campus-wide parking problem, any ways?
“Everyone wants that close and convenient space,” Police Chief Cummings said. In fact, some students will do just about anything to get it.
Whether it be parking in the wrong spaces or lots, or even neglecting to register for a parking tag, students are risking personal and public safety, vehicular damage, and costly expenses in parking ticket fines. According to Police Chief Cummings, Campus Safety issues anywhere from 75 to 100 parking tickets per day.
“Due to this fact,” he said, “The Campus Police Department is implementing a new system to discourage repeat offenders. This new system, called the Booting Policy, states that if tickets go unpaid, students will not be able to register for classes or obtain a transcript and will be charged a $25 towing fee.”
As of the 2015 fall semester, 6,441 students attend the university. The amount of available parking allows for 35.9% of those students to park in designated areas.
Even with all of the available parking, the positioning of the parking lots play a role in where students can park. Parking lots further away from classes, or for residence hall parking, are less frequently occupied during class times than those closer to classes.
On campus residents who drive to class tend to park in commuter parking lots making availability more difficult.
How might a student avoid these costly expenses and still obtain a nice parking space? Below are a few suggestions in order to help students defeat their daily parking difficulties.
Register for a Parking Tag
A parking tag is the easiest way to ensure no future problems like parking tickets and towing. A parking pass is $100 at the police department. Commuter students, residential students and faculty all require a parking tag.
Parking tags for the apartment complexes, Village, Courtyard and Pembroke Pointe, are not the same as a campus parking tag.
Arrive 10 Minutes Earlier
Finding a parking space at the last minute is difficult, if not impossible. Although it might require waking up a bit sooner, it would allow you to find a space and be ready for class on time. Avoid the rush by arriving early.
“Ten minutes earlier, you can find that spot,” Chief Cummings said.
Opt for “Greener Alternatives”
Bikes, scooters and skateboards are all great ways to get around campus without needing to find a parking space. Other benefits include saving gas and daily exercise. If you are using one of the methods, be sure to invest in a lock and always lock it up when not in use.
Also keep in mind when using these methods on the road, they are not considered pedestrians and are subject to the same traffic laws as other vehicles on campus.