As the registration process continues for many students parking has become a fiasco for students and staff.
The “Master Plan” for the university includes shifting parking locations. Thus far the result has been irritation and inconvenience.
Vice president of Finance Daarel E. Burnette is responsible for many of the changes to parking occurring on campus. “Our intent is to provide a pedestrian friendly campus. We want to promote safety at G.S.U.”, said Burnette.
Recently a parking study was conducted by the Bell Group, a group noted for previous expertise in creating ideas for parking in Spring 2009 of the campus.
The group noted that parking signs and fire lanes were poorly visible, prices of parking permits were low and did not allow for sustainability of a clear parking department.
This caused many parking spaces to be self created. The main concern of the group and administration was safety. With the new parking changes crime and automobile accidents would be curbed.
The immediate response to this study in the current semester has been to create “no parking” lanes where previous parking was in excess on Main Street and in front of Carver Hall.
This “trial period” has many students questioning this idea.
“I think that this could only be a problem during games, especially now that everything is blocked off.
What if an emergency occurs,” asked junior Shaquana Jordan.
Main Street is to be a vehicle free zone along with Freshman Village. Freshmen who reside on campus are to be without automobiles unless given special permission by admissions.
The administration has increased the amount of parking zones from four to eleven total zones which consist of 943 total parking spaces.
However, in place of the lost parking spaces, newly created lots have been made available for commuter students. They are located across from Brown Hall, the newly built Performing Arts Center and behind the Tiger Village Club House.
It should be noted that the parking lot near brown is composed of mostly rocks.
To increase safety these “no parking” spaces and crosswalks were repainted.
The entire process should take 2-4 weeks. Until then the police and other officials guide students to appropriate parking areas.
Any vehicles in violation receiving three or more citations are subject to be towed or immobilized by the university.
Eventually Burnette hopes to provide a paved commuter lot, police guarded commuter lots, and shuttle service for students around the campus. The budget for the parking project has not been allocated to provide these funds.
The parking decal prices recently came under fire for being raised without University of Louisiana System approval. Consequently, the prices have since been retracted after a meeting in Baton Rouge last Friday.
Prices of the decals will now range between $15-$50 based on the drivers classification as a residential student, commuter student, faculty, or staff, said Burnette. An increase is being investigated by the Louisiana Systems Office, but no increase will take place now.
Decal/parking permits will be issued in early September.
“Students should not be getting anything other than warning tickets for parking in the newly created no parking zones until decals become available,” said Burnette.