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Texas State needs to prioritize parking

Photo by: Ryan Jeanes | Special to The Star

Texas State’s transportation and organization of parking is a complete mess.

I live 2.7 miles from campus, yet it takes me an hour to get home from classes every day. You would think finding reasonable parking would be a breeze since I forked over $115 for a parking pass. Although that logic is sound, it is only wishful thinking.

The truth is that a green pass, which allows drivers to park near campus, costs almost $500. I say “near” because even with the pass, luxury parking spots are few and far between with no guarantee of a place.

In Texas State University officials’ desire to expand, they seem to have overlooked the fact that the campus simply has no more room to fit students. Purple parking anywhere near campus fills up by 9 a.m., and all other lots require a bus ride to reach the university. No student wants to waste gas in order to drive to a lot just to get on a bus.

Even our professors have no way to get to class in a timely manner. I have had professors rush into class apologizing because they had to park at the coffee shop off campus in order to make it to class, since their red lots are overflowing.

The university has traded valuable parking spaces for even more dorms. This plan makes sense according to Texas State’s money-grabbing mentality. More dorms mean forcing more freshmen to pay lofty prices for rooms, green parking passes and food plans, leading to more money in the university’s pocket.

While this may benefit someone’s bank account, it is an utter nuisance for students. Bobcats must rely on the bus. Unfortunately our bus system is hindered by traffic and poor organization.

Texas State has a nifty little app showing bus routes and the exact location of each bus on route. It is beyond frustrating when one opens the app to see all of the tiny bus bubbles sitting huddled together nowhere near where they ought to be.

Oftentimes, two buses will be on campus and one in transit. This is a poor system, as more often than not the bus fills up before its final stop, causing students to be late for class while the driver can do nothing but shrug apologetically.

The always-present and forever-changing construction in San Marcos has caused the bus routes to be redirected in time-consuming, roundabout ways. Construction causes traffic, making the buses even less reliable.

All of this would not be so bad if I were able to bike to school. After all, 2.7 miles is a breeze on a bike, and if one can handle some steep inclines it is not so bad. However, there is no safe way for me to bike to campus from my apartment, due to the fact that there are no secure bike lanes or sidewalks.

Throughout San Marcos, sidewalks are crumbling and bike lanes are few and inconsistent. Those without a knack for risk-taking and avoiding danger are better off taking an inconsistent bus or trying their hands in the battle of parking spaces.

Texas State should prioritize current students, not the people who may or may not choose to attend. Students would become more productive with the extra time that would no longer be wasted in excessive transit. But before they can, the university needs to take the time to improve its abhorrent transportation system.