There are approximately 11 times as many Texas State students as faculty and staff members. However, there are only about two times as many student-exclusive parking spaces as faculty- and staff-exclusive spaces.
There are 4,599 parking spaces exclusively for students across commuter, resident, campus apartments and carpool lots. There are 2,200 parking spots for faculty and staff. There are an additional 5,061 non-exclusive, all-zone parking spaces for students, staff and faculty.
Joe Richmond, director of Transportation Services, said his department is in the process of reallocating parking resources to better accommodate the university. The parking lot next to the tennis courts had 96 spaces recently reassigned as red parking for faculty and staff only.
The spaces were changed to red to compensate for parking spaces near the College of Education that are now unusable due to construction in the area. Student parking spaces in the tennis court lot that were lost due to the reassignment have been moved to perimeter commuter lots.
Richmond said there is the assumption that because Texas State faculty and staff come to campus every day, they should have higher quality parking spaces.
Richmond said the general industry standard for a reasonable walk to campus is a quarter mile to half a mile.
“There’s walking involved in everything we’re going to be doing in the future,” Richmond said. “Historically, because of the ample parking, people didn’t have to walk very far. They got to park pretty close. That’s not the story anymore. ”
Richmond said students can be broken down into two categories: those who commute and those who live on-campus. Most of the parking spaces on campus are primarily utilized by faculty, staff and students living in residence halls, Richmond said.
Texas State is in the process of replacing surface parking lots with garages, Richmond said. However, garages are more expensive to build than surface lots, so there has to be a balance between the construction cost of garages and the price of parking permits.
“The more convenient the parking is, the more expensive it’s going to be,” Richmond said.
Richmond said if a faculty member is making a “decent” salary, they will be willing to pay more to park closer to campus.
“We’re here for the students,” Richmond said. “But if we make the assumption that the students don’t come (to campus) every day, they don’t need that same spot every day.”
The recent opening of the North Campus Housing Complex added more than 600 beds to campus.
However, no parking spaces were added to accommodate for the influx of students living on campus.
Richmond said some universities do not allow freshmen to have cars on campus. However, some hall residents bring their cars to campus, park them and let them sit in a parking lot for as long as a week at a time.
“Some of (the cars) sit there until the tires go low and the battery goes dead,” Richmond said. “They think they need the car, but in reality, they don’t drive it that much.”
As a result, prices for parking in garages and surface lots near residence halls are expected to increase in the future, Richmond said.
Lara Knapp, biology sophomore, said parking is inconvenient for students. She said faculty parking lots should be open for students as well.
“I don’t want to be parking two miles away and have to hike all the way down to The Quad,” Knapp said. “That’s not fun. All of these stairs (on-campus)? No.”
Breanna Baker, wildlife biology freshman, said Texas State’s parking situation needs improvement. She was accustomed to parking near the tennis courts before they were converted to faculty parking. However, she thinks faculty members should have priority when it comes to allocating parking spaces.
“I’ve gotten along just fine without being able to park close to class,” Baker said.
Richmond said freshmen should forget whatever expectations about parking they have.
“The smartest thing you can do is walk,” Richmond said. “Walk is a four letter word, but everybody needs to do it.”