Many students returned to campus this semester frustrated to find a tight race for an available parking spot on campus.
On the first day of spring semester, students found Lot F, at D Street between First and Second streets, fenced off as construction of the new dormitory had begun.
“Parking is terrible,” junior Vince Bauer said. “I had to park on First Street, and the football gates are locked so I had to walk all the way around.”
Jan. 31 marked the beginning of construction of a much needed new dorm, expected to open fall of 2012. The project, however, also means the loss of 130 parking spaces.
As an immediate alternative to help alleviate the parking crunch, the University is offering a remote parking and shuttle service. Initially available to faculty and staff, the service is now open to students.
Bauer, however, said he was not planning of using the service.
“It’s inconvenient, and I don’t want to have to wait,” he said.
The remote parking lot is located on A street south of Arrow Highway. It offers 350 spots for students, faculty and staff, where they can be picked up and dropped off in front of the Wilson Library.
The shuttles run every 10 minutes from 6:50 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6:50 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The new lot currently has 210 staff and faculty signed up to allow for more on campus spaces.
After this spring semester is over the University will no longer be renting the new location.
The current baseball field will be converted into a parking lot with 380 spaces, with 260 available by fall 2011.
“We hope that’s the end to our parking problems for at least a few years,” said Clive Houston-Brown, associate vice president of facility and technology services.
Students that park on the streets off campus run a greater risk of vehicle break-ins.
Students who choose to park off campus make sure your doors are locked, your windows are up and keep everything out of site.
“Why spend 20 minutes looking for a space when you can take the shuttle and within 10 minutes you’re at class?” Jeff Clark, assistant director of campus safety and transportation, said.
There are some parking lots such as one at E and First streets, that are under-used because they are farther from the center of campus.
Alyssa Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.