Parking committee aims to find long-term options on campus

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The growing number of incoming students each year, along with recent construction assignments taking place of old lots, has greatly affected the parking dilemma some drivers face everyday around campus.

However, it’s not only students, but also faculty and staff, who face the same issue day after day making an effort to find a spot near their offices and workplaces in a reasonable amount of time. 

Many questions continually arise from concerned students and staff wondering how this problem can be fixed, so the Faculty Senate recently formed an “Ad hoc Parking Committee.”

“The problems that we endure on a daily basis have developed over time and, accordingly, require comprehensive solutions that recognize the needs of all campus constituencies [students, staff, faculty, and administration],” said Bill Martello, an active leading member of the committee. 

The committee was formed as the first real step towards developing practical proposals for addressing the serious parking issues faced on campus.  

“As the campus has grown over the past ten years, changes in parking regulations, lot assignments, and allowable parking practices has been instituted in a piecemeal fashion,” Martello said. “This episode-by-episode process has contributed to our current conditions, and it will take time, analysis and goodwill to untangle these issues.” 

The committee consists of over a dozen faculty members and is looking for input from a broad variety of people around campus before putting together possible solutions. In addition to the committee members’ insight, they want to include many perspectives such as those of the University Police Department and Student Government Association to collaboratively gain possible solutions and include those affected in the St. Edward’s University community. 

Since the committee has just recently formed, they do not have any immediate resolutions for the current conditions. However, they have recognized many problems within the current parking situation that could be fixed.

Some of the members have agreed that one cause of the parking dilemma is that most of the central parking seems to be frozen throughout the busy day. This means many campus resident vehicles are parked in the spaces throughout the class day. These central campus lots include those by the John Brooks Williams Science Center, and the lots aside Dujarié and Basil Moreau Halls.

Many off-campus residents, faculty and staff are left fighting for the various green lots or parking in the parking garage and even the visitor lots. Some commuting students have reported they have had to park across the street and walk over to campus sometimes. 

“I constantly end up on one of the top floors of the parking garage and have to walk all the way across campus, since the majority of my classes are located in the central campus area,” said Amy Jones, a commuting student-athlete.

With so many contributing factors to the ongoing parking issue, and the committee’s plan to try and look at things comprehensively, no immediate actions can be carried out yet. For now, the student body will have to attempt to find alternatives, while the faculty led parking committee plans to propose practical solutions by the end of the academic year. 

“Parking on any college campus is going to be difficult,” said assistant volleyball coach Kim Morgal. “I think more people need to utilize the parking garage option and be okay with walking a little bit”.