The Speck Surface parking lot has been closed in order to make way for construction of a new residence hall. Although the closure of this lot presents new problems for the already-problematic parking situation on campus, there are many alternative solutions available to commuters.
As a result of the Speck lot shutting down, the university is now short 442 spaces. To help combat that, Transportation Services and Parking Services have made some changes to the parking passes that students buy. Students that live in on-campus residences are no longer permitted to purchase commuter parking passes. Instead, residents can purchase either a residential parking pass or a Mill Street/Residence Hall permit. The Mill Street permit is a good new option for students that don’t drive their cars much, as they can essentially store them with the pass. It is also important to note that purchase of a Mill Street pass comes with the stipulation that vehicles parked in that lot must be relocated during home football games. This football season, Texas State will have a home game on a Tuesday and one on a Thursday, so students need to keep an eye out for that.
Additionally, there are several pay-to-park garages around campus. There are five Pay and Display parking garages and two additional hourly rate pay garages. Instead of paying for a commuter pass, students can take those funds and budget them into paying for these garages instead.
One possible solution that Texas State could pursue is turning the Sessom lot into a full commuter lot. The lot is currently shared between commuters and red permit holders, but oftentimes many of the red permit spots go unused. By turning the lot full commuter, some of the spots lost will be made back up. An additional plus would be that it’s closer to the main part of campus than Speck.
Another avenue that students can look into is acquiring a carpool pass. Students interested in getting a carpool pass can fill out the form on the Parking Services website. The only lots available for carpool passes are the lot in front of the President’s House, the Elm Street lot and the Sessom lot. Members of the carpool lot must fill out the form together. Also, while there is no fee for getting a carpool pass, each car in the pool must be registered with Parking Services and have the appropriate decals displayed.
It is unfortunate and inconvenient that the Speck Street lot has been closed. However, there is nothing that can be done about it, so instead of complaining and taking a pessimistic view, the editorial board encourages Bobcats to seek out other alternatives that work for them.