Outcomes of parking forum

By Ashley Ford—

Yesterday, Tarleton State University’s student parking forum was lead by the parking committee chair, police Chief Matt Welch.

Parking committee chair and police chief, Matt WelchPhoto Courtesy of tarleton.edu

Parking committee chair and police chief, Matt Welch
(Photo Courtesy of tarleton.edu)

The parking committee, consisting of faculty, staff, and students, held an open meeting to the students to discuss the plan for improving parking on campus. The parking forum was meant to help find solutions to the current parking problems on campus, and ideas and opinions were heard from various attendees. It also served to inform the students of what plans the committee has been working on and answer any questions they may have.

Welch explained the two major focuses on faculty parking. First, all faculty lots will be gated and will be operated by a proxy card system. These gates will also be designed with cameras for people to communicate with the gate operators if they need assistance or temporary access. The gates will open at 5 p.m. for student access, will not allow cars to pass after midnight on weekdays, and will stay open on weekends. Second, the parking committee will oversell parking space at 105 percent, instead of 100 percent. Only 70 percent of faculty lots are filled at a time. The committee is also considering saving 20 percent of those faculty spots for reservation.

Welch’s second focus was to separate the red zones from the purple zones. They would oversell the red zones by 240 percent. They are increasing the amount of red zones, allowing the commuters to have more space. Starting next week, additional parking will begin construction at the north end of the stadium’s visitor parking lot, adding 340 spots.

Parking at the baseball fields and horticulture center will be considered overflow for students with or without a permit. Welch said loading zones will be scattered through campus, making it easy to briefly stop, drop-off and unload.

Welch is working on getting cross walks and sidewalks put in areas where there is major amounts of pedestrian crossing, including a cross walk at Washington and Lillian.

A topic commonly brought up by the students was the shuttle system. Many students said it was hard to differentiate all the golf carts from shuttle system and non-shuttle system. Students also hoped for a more scheduled and reliable routine for the shuttle carts, so they could be easier to catch. After spring break, the mobile app “Ride System” will work as a GPS, tracking what shuttles are where.

The committee believes the parking problems will be greatly reduced once all of these solutions have been implemented.

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