Students see changes to parking

Students parking on campus will see a few different changes when looking for a place to park this year.

On-campus residents may have noticed the newly painted parking spots. These spots have been painted green to differentiate the dorm parking from the commuter and open parking spots that merge together.

The green parking spot paint does not necessarily match the residential hall parking permits that were issued at the beginning of the fall semester. However, there are color-coded signs that match the different color parking permits issued.

“It doesn’t coordinate with the specific dorm hang tags and this is due to the fact that blue lines (for West dorms) could easily be confused with handicap parking,” said Carrie Harris, an administrative assistant at the University Police Department.

Students can pick up parking permits at the University Police Department located in Foundation Hall. In order to receive a permit, students must have the vehicle registration and know their T-number. The system is new this year because the mailboxes have been taken away and replaced with the new post office. The new system of getting parking permits caused many students to return multiple times and wait in the long line.

“The first time I went to get my permit, I got in line and was there for about 30 minutes and realized I needed my vehicle registration,” said Sloane Garrett, senior education major. “So I went back again later in the week, and it still took me about an hour to get through the line.”

Students should be aware of the areas in which they park to avoid receiving a ticket. There are fewer 30-minute parking spots than last year behind the University Center. Restrictions in the color-coded areas and 30-minute parking are effective from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you do receive a ticket, you have the opportunity to appeal it. The appeals process for contesting a citation is available through the University Police's dedicated parking services website. Once you are on the website, you need your T-number and the citation number in order to appeal a citation. The citation must be appealed within 15 academic days from the date the citation was written. Freshman Arianna Clemmer appealed a ticket she got on her first day of class.

“I had to go take the concussion test for my sport and I parked in the training room spots,” said Clemmer. “I was in there for maybe 10 minutes and came out to my car and had two different tickets. One ticket was for not having a parking pass and the other was for being in the wrong area. I appealed both tickets and luckily they were overturned.”

Student athletes need to be cautious when they park and go to the training rooms for therapy. Athletes who have injuries that do not affect their ability to walk should park in the lots designated to them by their hang tags.

“We have three spots designated for Golden Eagle Sports Medicine. These spots should only be used by those who are currently being seen by the therapist with a problematic orthopedic injury that would require closer parking,” said Harris.

Ticket prices vary from $5 to $200 depending on your violation. Without paying these tickets, your account access will be limited and you won’t be able to register for classes.

Along with the new permits and paint colors, the parking lots and roads surrounding campus went through numerous changes during the summer in preparation for the school year.

According to Jack Butler, associate vice president of facilities, many parking lots were restriped, including the library parking lot, and new crosswalks were added. He added that parallel parking along Stadium Drive was removed because of the danger of opening car doors into traffic. The Facilities department also repaired many potholes around campus.

The largest change made this summer was to the intersection at Johnson Hall, Bryan Fine Arts Building and Volpe library. This three-way intersection was changed to a four-way intersection over the summer.

These changes were made to accommodate pedestrians and traffic, and in preparation for new parking lots.

“We looked overall at how to better use the space that we have,” Butler. “So we’ve been adding parking on the west side of campus, and we’re doing a small 400 space lot that is between Tech Village and the baseball field.”

The parking lots together will add up to 1,100 parking spaces. This lot is part of a larger plan to shift parking to the west side of campus. The university is planning on building a new lab sciences building on the current site of the large commuter parking lot.

“When the new lab sciences building comes on stream for construction in about two years, the large commuter lot goes away, and that’s 600 spaces,” said Butler. “That’s why I need these other two lots up and running by the time the commuter lot goes away.”

The Facilities department is also planning on installing three parking garages across campus, but it is impossible to know when these will be built.

“The only thing that pays for parking is student parking fees,” Butler said. “And the cost for surface-level parking is about $4,000 a space, and for a parking structure it’s $20,000.”

For now, students are asked to be patient while the money is saved for the parking structures.