As Texas State continues into its 18th consecutive year of record-breaking enrollment numbers, the issue of parking on campus has become a frequent topic of discussion among students.
“We need more parking spaces,” said Jake Clark, engineering technology freshman. “I mean, I paid $500 to park where I live (at Blanco Hall), not to hope there’s room for me at the end of the day.”
According to data released by Parking Services, four parking permits are sold for every perimeter spot.
Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Parking Services, said no data indicates Texas State needs additional spaces.
“The amount of permits being sold are irrelevant,” he said. “The significant data to look at is how many empty spaces we have.”
Prentice said the highest influx of vehicles on campus is during peak hours of class time—from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There are at least 1,200 to 1,300 empty perimeter parking spaces during these times.
Although perimeter lots like the Speck Street garage are fuller than others, the parking lots at Mill Street and Strahan Coliseum normally have vacant spots, he said.
“If one says there isn’t enough space (in perimeter parking), that is not correct,” Prentice said. “Someone might say there’s not enough space directly where they want to park, but that’s pretty much how it is at every university.”
Prentice said the amount of perimeter permits sold is not capped, but residential permits are more limited.
“If there’s 5,000 residents, we will not sell more than 5,000 (residential) permits,” he said.
The Moore Street Housing complex is set to be completed in May and will house 598 students. However, Prentice said only 22 new parking spots will be created for the residence halls.
Purchasing new land to create spaces for new gold parking permits has been a topic of discussion in Parking Services, Prentice said. Gold permits would allow residents to park in the Mill Street lot as well as green zones.
“It’s challenging when you throw in 500 more people in a completely new space,” he said. “We are going to have to definitely look at more ways to manage that.”
Clark said he feels 22 additional spots will not be sufficient.
“If nothing is done about it now when there is still time, then this problem is just going to keep happening,” Clark said.
Some students choose not to live on campus due to the status of parking.
Parking Services made between $4 million and $5 million last year, Prentice said.
“We are completely self-supporting. We get no money from anyone,” he said. “Every penny collected from permits, garage-for-pay kiosks and fines goes right back into repairs and maintenance for parking services.”