Parking changes receive praise, disapproval from students
Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 10:08
The struggle to find a parking spot at ASU is becoming a thing of the past with a recent 10 percent gain in parking spaces.
“Parking is important,” David McKinney, director of parking services, said. “In no way would I minimize that.”
The 2013 school year began with the addition of a new contract parking lot and additional commuter spots along Aggie Road, as well as the creation of a pedestrian walkway along what was once Driver Street.
Commuters are now more likely to find a parking space along Aggie Road with the completion of 83 new spots. The road is now two lanes, which causes traffic to slow down. This makes it safer for pedestrians, McKinney said.
The new parking on Aggie may have created more spots, but some students aren’t as excited about it. Ryan Whitlock, a physical education major of North Little Rock, enjoys the created space, but not the type of parking.
“The parallel parking has been difficult because I’m not very good at it,” he said.
Whitlock said he thinks it’s contradicting that Driver Street was blocked off to keep pedestrians safe, but parallel parking was added to Aggie, causing students to exit their vehicles close to the road.
“I actually do think it’s been so much easier,” Whitlock added about the new parking.
The new contract lot is located behind Eugene W. Smith Hall and the Nursing/Health Professions building. SGA approached parking services with comments from students asking for more contract parking.
McKinney said it got to the point where there were more than 500 students on the waiting list for contract spots. “The demand was there for it,” he said, which became clear when the spots sold out by July 1.
An additional parking lot was also built along the new Honors Avenue (formerly Banks Street). The lot will serve students living in the Honors residence halls as well as commuters.
Sophomore Najwa Lee, a psychology major of Newport, said she feels there is now more room for Honors students to park. She goes home on the weekends and comes back on Mondays, but has had a good experience with parking.
“I don’t have to rush to get here,” Lee said.
Lee added that she feels safer with the new pedestrian walkway located near the Honors residence halls. Before the walkway was added she had to hurry to her room before it got dark to avoid the small path that was initially there.
“I like the changes actually because there’s a sidewalk now,” she said.
McKinney explained the changes were brought about to bring an emphasis to pedestrian safety as well as the green space needed to beautify the campus.
To help upkeep the look of campus, revenue from parking services (such as ticket money, parking garage fees and meter fees) goes back into existing parking infrastructure. This aids in keeping lots maintained and placing correct signage around campus.
“Ultimately, that’s what attracts people to college,” he said. “When it comes down to it, students don’t pick their university because of the parking. They pick it because of what it offers academically and socially. They want to attend a campus that looks good.”
A map of the parking changes can be found at http://www.astate.edu/a/facilities/maps/north-construction.pdf.