Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Parking problems increasing along with student population

Parking problems increasing along with student population
By Thomas Hodge
 SAN MARCOS – The number of students enrolling is growing each year, with this past year being the largest enrollment of them all. The total number of students on record this year is 36,700.
Out of these 36,700 students, there are only 13,670 parking spaces available, including faculty parking, according to a 2013 university fee-comparison.

“I have to basically get here early in order to get a parking spot and make it to class on time,” said senior Chris Murray. “I commute now and it has gotten harder to find parking close to where you are going on campus.”

According to an April 17, 2013 University Star article, San Marcos city councilmembers approved the first proposal of a neighborhood parking permit plan. If approved, students who park in neighborhoods, would be at risk of getting their vehicle ticketed if they lack said permit, regardless of who owns the vehicle.

Students are looking for parking outside of campus and surrounding areas because they cannot find a spot to park.

“I live off campus at Sanctuary Lofts…People try to park there and they get towed. Everyone tries to park there instead of paying for parking permits,” said junior Hayley Spicer-Kendall.

The price of the permits that Spicer-Kendall speaks of is $485 for the residence hall permit and $115 for a commuter permit. Even though some students pay what some people might call “over-priced” permits, they still are not guaranteed a parking spot.

“Seems like the more students, the more fees we have to pay,” said senior Adamma Ohueri.  She may be right. According to a February 5, 2013 University Star article, there has been a proposal to increase in the cost of parking permits from anywhere between 8 and 135 percent.

The increased cost of the parking permits would be to help the cover debts the university has accumulated with all the new renovations, buildings and garages made in the past year, raising their debt to a total of $4.5 million dollars. All of the changes the school has made have been to accommodate the increasing population of students.

Junior, Brianna Jennings said,” They definitely should keep growing, but they need to accommodate more people with housing. They should tear down and rebuild the older dorms and make them bigger and better, and they just need more dorms in general. They should also build more parking lots or maybe a garage. Mostly if there’s gonna be more people, they need more dorms.”

If the number of students continues to grow, there will be more cars, traffic and trams on the road. That means it will be even more difficult for students to find parking.

"I don't think I’ve ever been to a college that has the parking situation under control," said junior Wes Clary.

Texas State has made changes to better help students get to school by other means instead of driving. The school provides a tram service that picks up students from several places throughout the city, takes them to school and back.

For more information regarding tram schedules call 512-245-5555.

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