The nightmare of parking on campus

The nightmare of parking on campus

 

By Nicole Shepard, News Editor @NicoleEShepard

 

 

 

With the hole in the ground that was once valuable parking space, a cocktail of frustration and panic over the inevitable battle for a decent parking spot has already washed over the student body.

 

A $53 million classroom building takes up a lot of space, and because the state didn’t also provide funding for a reallocation of parking space, and Parking Services has found itself in a similar conundrum as last year.

 

“Many students are worried it will be worse than last year with the lost space,” Jim Innes, assistant director of Parking Services, said. “But we don’t think it’ll be much different. With the new parking structure pulling visitors out of student parking and the drop in enrollment, we expect about the same congestion as last year.”

 

In 2012 there were 2,685 students with parking passes and only 2,600 stalls. This year being a repeat of last year doesn’t sound encouraging. But knowledge is power and Jim Innes shared some parking wisdom.

 

First, come early. Don’t think you can get away with showing up in your car ten minutes before your class. Not on the campus that packs in more people per square foot than any other in Utah.  Second, you need to give up the hunt.

 

“Don’t waste time hunting for a space close to the buildings,” Innes said. “We sometimes will watch people circle around the front lots for so long that they miss their classes. They just drive around and around thinking that they will get a spot as soon as it opens up while there are plenty of spaces a few hundred yards away.”

 

Another handy tip is to not attempt to park between 10 am and noon.

 

“Ten on Wednesday is the busiest time,” Innes said. “So if you can avoid it, do. Also it’s best to avoid trying to drive to school in the first two to three weeks. There are more people trying to park then than at any other time in the semester.”

 

Being a commuter school, it’s difficult to tell the student body to leave their cars at home.

 

“I come down from Draper,” Becca Langstrom, nursing student and mother of two, said. “I live a crazy busy life, and I can’t see any other way of doing this. I need my car.  And I need a parking spot.”

 

The administration recognizes that UVU has a unique student body for a university; a student body that does not have the option of walking to school from the on-campus dorms.

 

“We understand that for many of the students, not bringing a car simply isn’t an option,” Innes said. “And believe it or not, we’re trying. We encourage people to take public transit. We’ve worked to make that affordable. We hope that more will carpool. There are ways to be creative.”

 

A common complaint of students is that the school seems to be building new facilities and using up more and more parking space without replacing any.

 

“No funding from your tuition or the state goes to parking, it’s against state policy,” Innes said. “Students often ask us why we don’t just build more parking structures. But it’s not that easy, we don’t have the funding. There may be funding for a $53 million classroom building, but there isn’t any money for parking.”

 

With no cuts from the state or from tuition, Parking Services has their hands tied when it comes to quick solutions.

 

“There is no short-term plan for more parking. But there are long-term plans for building parking structures at the Geneva property,” Innes said.

 

Luckily for the upcoming year, the parking structure east of the Liberal Arts building will be opened for fall semester. But students need to know it’s not going to be cheap to park there.

 

“It’ll be visitor parking and will pay for itself through the hourly parking fees,” Innes said. “Students are more than welcome to park there. It’ll cost two dollars an hour, but it’s available. But even if that’s too steep, remember it will really free up a lot of space in other lots.”

 

 

 

Nicole Shepard is an Integrated Studies major at UVU. She is emphasizing in Writing Studies, Journalism and Peace and Justice Studies, and will graduate spring 2014. Nicole is hoping to work in cause journalism and advocate for restorative justice practices. She has lived in Europe three times she is also considering graduate school in the UK. Nicole is the news editor for the UVU Review.

One Response to "The nightmare of parking on campus"

  1. Austin   August 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Glad I have a motorcycle, the parking is a bunch of junk, and that statement about making public transit affordable seems far fetched. When I started there at UvU, to activate the public trans chip in your ID seemed more reasonable. Now its a whopping $70! so shame on them for saying affordable considering you get receive a free one from U of U. In their defense the statement is made that the pass works on more things now, like the Front Runner. But hey I took the 811, then Trax, seems about same to me as Front Runner, doesn’t quite justify the increased cost. Oh yea, it wont even work for the UTA bus that runs to Sundance (for you skiers & boarders. I know from experience after having been turned away with all my gear, only to take the trans all the way back home). Anyways 70 bucks from 85 that it take for a parking pass, doesn’t seem like that great of a cut from loosing the…

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