Parking Services officials should consider allowing student permit holders to utilize the Performing Arts Center Garage without paying the current hourly rates.
The first two floors of the new parking garage on Edward Gary Street opened for free parking from Jan. 2 to Jan. 13. The garage is available not only to students, faculty and staff members, but to the public as well.
According to a Jan. 17 press release by the city, nine of the total garage parking spots are reserved. These reserved spaces are likely for campus officials or professors. In addition to the availability of more than 400 spaces, the location of the parking garage is ideal for campus accessibility. The garage is located near a number of residential halls and academic buildings and should provide ample parking for students, faculty and staff members.
Texas State is in need of some serious relief when it comes to issues with student parking, and the new addition of the Performing Arts Center Garage could be a tremendous help. But since the parking garage is available to both the university community and the public as a whole, the new spaces may not adequately ease the current state of parking on campus.
However, while the parking garage is a much-needed campus improvement, there is a catch—the spaces are offered only at hourly rates, like the LBJ Student Center Parking Garage. The majority of the 457 parking spots are available at standard hourly rates ranging from $3 to a daily max of $14. Some of these spots should be reserved for students with specific permits instead of the current hourly charge system. If additional garage parking spaces were specifically allotted for students with permits, some parking frustrations in nearby lots could be eased.
Although the location of the parking garage is fantastic for students, faculty and staff members, it is also a prime spot for a number of shoppers and Square frequenters as well. On a busy day at the shops on The Square, students may find it hard to attain garage parking spots if visitors and residents take up several spaces. It is all well and good for the garage to serve the community, but issues regarding available student parking should be addressed first.
Students are often extremely limited in their choices of campus parking, and many could be late or even end up skipping a class if several garages or lots are completely full. It is ridiculous that students who buy permits continue to struggle to find adequate parking spaces within a close distance to campus. If officials re-evaluated the new garage to allow some spaces for student with permits, the lingering campus student parking issues may be partially mitigated. This would be a smart and well-planned step in the right direction toward solving the long-time parking problem.
In the long run, the hourly rates in the parking garage could bring in significant funds for the university. However, presently, the university would be wise to set its sights on expanding the garage’s capability to serve student permit holders without additional fees.