It is not often students are given a reason to be grateful for parking system changes at Texas State, which makes the latest proposals being brought before the President’s Cabinet particularly exciting.
Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the department has made several recommendations to administrators to alleviate problems within the parking permit system. The biggest change would prohibit students who live on campus from purchasing perimeter permits, which is currently causing overcrowding in several lots around campus. If approved, this change, among others, will be a measure that will remedy part of the parking problem at Texas State, arguably the most frustrating issue currently faced by the university.
According to a Jan. 30 University Star article, Nusbaum told faculty senators during their Jan. 29 meeting that many residential students have been purchasing $115 purple perimeter passes as opposed to $485 green residential permits. This has left 500 to 600 residential parking spots empty and the commuter lots full, she said. The majority of students who commute to campus have likely felt the pain of circling a perimeter parking lot to find a spot, which is often unavoidable no matter how much time is allotted to park before class.
The frustration of being unable to find a parking spot is compounded by the knowledge that students who live on campus have been occupying the spaces intended for commuters. It is understandable why students who live on campus have been buying perimeter permits. They run nearly $400 cheaper than residential permits, a price difference that most students would probably capitalize on. However, it is fair that this will likely no longer be an option.
Bringing a car to campus as a freshman or residential student is a luxury not afforded at many universities. Additionally, while residential students will no longer be able to purchase perimeter permits if the change is approved, they will still be provided with a cheaper alternative to the $485 green permits, which could soon be lowered to $435.
A proposed “storage permit” would allow residential students who do not use their vehicles daily to park at the back of the Mill Street lot, according to the same University Star article. The storage permits would be priced at $115, Nusbaum said. Students who purchase the storage permits would be able to take the Bobcat Village tram to get to campus from the Mill Street lot. After 5 p.m. each Friday, students with storage permits would be allowed to move their cars to their dorms and park in any zone for the weekend.
The editorial board commends Transportation Services officials for finding a solution to one of the biggest parking issues at Texas State in a way that benefits all parties involved. It should be noted that this will ultimately benefit commuter students the most, a group that has historically been shortchanged by the university.
It would be a stretch to call these potential changes a light at the end of the tunnel, but the situation seems to be improving nonetheless. Transportation Services has taken a step in the right direction toward solving a critical issue in a department riddled with problems and student dissatisfaction, and officials deserve praise for this most recent proposal.