Changes to the university parking system are possible in fall 2014 pending final approval of a proposal to designate a “storage” zone in the Mill Street parking lot.
An increasing number of residential students are choosing to purchase perimeter permits, necessitating a change in the parking system to ensure spaces for commuters, said Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services.
“We’re losing spaces in the Speck lot in the Loop 82 construction, and we’ve lost over 300 in the stadium construction, so we’re just trying to make sure our commuters have some place to park,” Nusbaum said.
According to the terms of the proposal, students who live in residence halls would have to choose between purchasing green residential or gold storage permits. Those who purchase the gold permits would pay $115 to temporarily store their vehicles in the Mill Street lot.
The proposal includes a price reduction for residential permits, which would be sold at $435 rather than the current price of $485 per year, Nusbaum said.
“We wanted to provide residential students with an alternate option,” said Stephen Prentice, assistant director of Transportation Services. “The gold permits would be for those students who made the determination that they don’t need access to their vehicles on a daily basis.”
Some residential students who rely on perimeter parking near their dorms are upset about the potential changes, said Nicole Shipes, Residence Hall Association president.
“It’s very unfair that the only affordable option requires us to park so far away,” Shipes said. “Students just want to be able to park near their homes.”
Transportation Services estimates about one-third of the 974 spaces in the Mill Street lot will be designated for gold permits as part of the proposal, since about 800 residents bought perimeter parking permits last year, Prentice said.
“There’s no history to it, so the estimation is speculative,” Prentice said.
Transportation Services does not anticipate a need to create zones for storage permits in any other lots at this time, Prentice said.
“There will be no expanding that I can envision,” Prentice said. “I don’t know how popular (the gold permits) will be based on how far away the Mill Street lot is.”
Shipes said she believes students will choose to purchase the most financially viable permit available even if that means they have to park in the Mill Street lot and ride a bus to campus.
“It will be interesting to see what happens because I think everyone will opt to buy a storage pass,” Shipes said.
The proposal will be taken to the Texas State Staff Council and the Transportation Services Advisory Council before being presented to the President’s Cabinet for final approval, Nusbaum said.
“There could still be some changes made at this point,” Nusbaum said. “But I don’t think there will be any more.”