On campus

Parking on campus improves

With all the changes this year because of coronavirus, parking is one thing that seems to have improved.  Students can almost always find a parking spot behind the library or the stadium at any time of the day.  This is an improvement from previous years where getting to campus early to find a parking spot was essential.

“Green zones actually increased by just under 4% in sales, but the red, teal and purple zone permits all showed a decrease,” said Carrie Harris, coordinator of parking & transportation services.  “This made the average across the board a 9% decrease in student permit sales.”

The decrease in sales in the commuter lots helps with parking availability.  Shelby Campbell, senior journalism major, bought her first parking pass this year.

“This semester is totally different than anything I have ever seen. I guess since everyone is not on campus at the same time, I can usually find a parking spot in about 10 minutes,” said Campbell. “I hope Tech keeps the system of not having everyone on campus in the future.”

Campbell was not too far off, according to Harris.

“We have had a handful of students return their parking permits who mentioned that their classes had been moved online, so my opinion is that online classes in general would be the main reason for the decrease in parking permit sales,” said Harris.

Whereas Harris says online classes is the main reason for parking permit sales decreasing, Campbell seems to think Tech did a better job of changing schedules around.

“I think that COVID-19 really helped Tech understand how changing schedules could basically solve the parking predicament on campus,” said Campbell. “There is always talk about parking garages, more parking spaces, or anything, but I think Tech just solved this problem by adjusting schedules.”

Parking lot behind the library at Tech at 8:30 a.m.

Even though more parking is available, that does not mean the amount of parking tickets decreases.

“Our citations have remained consistent, but most of our citations do not correlate with parking availability,” said Harris. “This semester, with the decrease of students on campus every day, the number of empty parking spaces on campus is even greater.  Most of the citations that we write are for no parking permit or unassigned area—people parking in zones that are not allowed with their current permit.”

“The number of citations written this fall has increased over the amount written last fall at this time.  Last fall we had 1,197 and this fall we have written 1,223 for the same time period of three weeks and two days,” Harris said.

Campbell said she is worried about getting a ticket still, especially with this being her first year parking on campus.

“It’s not all great, as I did get a parking ticket the second week of class,” said Campbell. “Even with a parking pass, I’m still worried about getting a ticket.”

Campbell said  her busy schedule made this great year to get a pass.

“I knew I wouldn’t have as much free time to walk everywhere, catch the bus and narrowly avoid parking tickets from Tech police,” said Campbell.