While officials say parking at Texas State will continue to be a hot-button issue, changes are being made in several lots across campus that could help ease the problem.
The Transportation Services Advisory Council members decided to reassign half of the lot next to the tennis courts to all-zone parking during a January meeting. Nearly 100 spaces were changed to all-zone after they had been converted to restricted parking months before, said Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of transportation services. Two to three rows of parking will remain restricted for staff members at the physical plant.
Nusbaum said 43 spaces remained empty daily when the lot was designated as faculty parking.
Stephen Prentice, assistant director of parking services, said watching and recording those empty spaces led to the reassignment of the spots.
“We re-evaluate (parking) all the time, and the R-2 (tennis courts) lot just wasn’t justifiable anymore,” Prentice said. “It wasn’t completely being used by faculty. So, we wanted to give it back to the students who need it most.”
Faculty members gained more parking spaces after construction ended and improvements were made to the Lantana and Butler Hall parking lots. The two lots are now designated as restricted parking because there is a higher concentration of faculty near the Undergraduate Academic Center, Prentice said.
“There will always be the issue of construction taking away parking spaces,” Prentice said. “Until the dust clears and we don’t have to open and close lots, it’ll be a constant struggle.”
Nusbaum presented a modified parking map along with rezoning to the Transportation Advisory Council during the January meeting. Nusbaum said the map is still considered a draft, and an approved version will be available before summer orientation begins.
According to the map, all-zone lots will soon be called perimeter parking, and signage will be changed to indicate more clearly who can use the spaces. Signs for the perimeter lots will be completely purple instead of the currently depicted striped color zones. Purple currently indicates commuter parking.
“In the middle of (the current color-coded legend) is a little layer of purple, so it’s hard for someone to see that,” Nusbaum said. “We want to make it easy for commuters, especially new ones, to know where they can park.”
Prentice said the restricted parking areas around Bobcat Trail will eventually be repurposed into a mall area as a part of the Bobcat Trail Redevelopment Project. The project will consist of replacing underground pipes and other maintenance work, as well as turning the asphalt into green space similar to the mall in front of the UAC.
Thomas Gleason, geography senior andparking and transportation committee chair, said because Bobcat Trail is a high pedestrian area, changing it into a green space will benefit everyone.
“So many people walk through that area, and there are only a few spaces for faculty and staff to park,” Gleason said. “A green space isn’t just advantageous, but necessary for this campus. It’s great for students to have a place (where) they can enjoy the outdoors, relax or study.”
Gleason said while parking will continue to be an issue, students should look into other modes of transportation and remember faculty have vehicles as well.
“Students need to realize the fact that the faculty are also hurting,” Gleason said. “It’s important faculty have close parking to help maintain and keep our current faculty. We don’t want to push them, or any new people for that matter, away with something as simple as parking issues.”