Thursday, February 27, 2014

Parking Concerns Raised by Rapid Growth

By:  Lindsey Huckaby
Writing for Mass Media Student

SAN MARCOS - Finding a parking spot on campus at Texas State University can be frustrating and nearly impossible.  A record breaking enrollment of 35,568 students for the 2013 fall semester now makes finding a parking spot even more difficult for students who choose to drive to campus.

According to the University News Service, “This is an increase from the enrollment of 34,225 for the 2012 fall semester. It marks the 16th consecutive year Texas State has set a new record for total enrollment.”

With Texas State’s increasing enrollment and the city of San Marcos growing at such a fast rate, finding parking on and around campus will only continue to become more challenging.

Parking permits range from $115 to $485 a year. Even for students who obtain a parking permit, parking spaces are still not guaranteed as stated on the Parking Services page on the Texas State University website.
Grace Svoboda, a senior at Texas State with a major in communication designs spoke about how parking and traffic have changed in San Marcos since her freshman year at the university.
"When I got here almost four years ago, I don't remember parking and traffic to be that much of a problem. Now, I have to plan for it everyday when I commute to campus. It's a pain," Svoboda said.
Tyler Patek, a junior at Texas State, also expressed frustrations when it comes to finding a parking spot on campus.
“There is never any parking. I hate it. You always have to leave so early if you want to try to get a parking spot. I don't like taking the bus, but it is better than worrying about being extra late to class just because you can't find a parking spot," Patrek said.
Leah Perez, a sophomore at Texas State, expressed how the limited number in parking spots in relation to the growing number of students is affecting her developing relationships with professors.
“It’s crowded. San Marcos has turned into a congested area, and the town isn’t big enough to handle the growing number of students. As for parking, you have to show up about an hour early to find a spot on campus, and even then you aren’t guaranteed a spot. Most of the time parking lots are full by 9:30 a.m. I’m missing out on developing a relationship with my professor that could essentially help me learn better because of the large class size,” Perez said.

Rachel Green, a freshman majoring in nursing, expressed her challenges when it comes to finding parking on campus.

I have a purple perimeter pass and there has been times where I’ve had to like park somewhere off campus and when I first got here I got towed. Most of the time I can’t find a spot. And inside parking lots is dangerous and people like almost hit each other so it’s kind of scary,” Green said.

20-year-old mass communication major Janelle Erickson has also had a negative experience with parking in regards to the university.

Parking is miserable here because there’s not enough spots for everyone. I walk to campus from my house, but because it’s close to campus people use my street to park in front of my house which is irritating,” Erickson said.
Texas State does offer public transportation to students with the Bobcat Tram as an alternative to driving to campus.  The tram has many stops at different locations around town and takes students to campus. 

However, many students already face difficulties when it comes to using the Bobcat Tram and with a growing number of new students enrolling the problem will only continue to get worse.

22-year-old senior Carla Jara, majoring in psychology, spoke about her negative experience using the tram system provided by the university.

“It made me late to class, like really frequently.  A lot of the times it wasn’t even because like I was running late.  It’s because like the first bus to come around would be so full, I’d have to wait for like the second bus.  Waiting for a bus for like 40 minutes when it’s a 10 minute drive was a little ridiculous,” Jara said.

19-year-old sophomore Casey Robinson has also experienced difficulties when it comes to taking the tram and getting to class on time.

“I take the bus loop. The buses are very crowded. There aren’t enough that go around so I’m late for class almost all the time even if I go out to the bus stop early,” Robinson said.

Students are clearly being affected by the university’s growth and only time will tell how parking and transportation issues are addressed and dealt with at Texas State University.


Grace Svoboda

Tyler Patek

Leah Perez

Rachel Green (no contact listed)

Janelle Erickson (no contact listed)

Carla Jara

Casey Robinson

Student Parking:  Parking Services

University News Service

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