SGA tackles parking problems

Casey McAnarney | Assistant News Editor

With the most common complaint on campus being about the inefficiency of parking, Student Government Association President Dan McCord plans to accommodate for these needs.

The university recognizes the growth the institution is undergoing and is having a cumulative impact. With the university growing in increments of several hundred each year, university officials are trying to be more efficient, however, the crowding of parking is causing people to complain to representatives in SGA and email McCord personally.

Advocating for student needs is all that SGA is capable of but McCord’s recent talks with Director of Facilities Administration Sharon Boyd have brought to light possible solutions for parking needs.

“We always planned to make a second deck after that first deck,” Boyd said, “but ultimately the solution is a combination of (building a parking) deck and adding more surface parking.”

In terms of a new parking deck, McCord discussed the possibility of placing a deck in a crowded area like near the Student Recreational Center or the Cultural Arts Building.

McCord explained that a deck would go nicely in these areas because high traffic areas on campus already have parking, “…so we just need to build up in order to accommodate for parking needs.”

The addition of a parking deck also provides a more sustainable, eco- friendly option for parking. Sharon Boyd said that “a parking deck will always be better for land use and (the deck) will put more spaces in a needed area.”

Environmentalism will be a key factor when discussing where to add parking opportunities as well as who will get to use it. For instance, even with the addition of more parking students within the one mile radius of campus will still be expected to commute either on foot or by The Wave Transit system.

“Overall, we are trying to reduce parking demands as much as possible,” Boyd said, “but if people would walk more they would not lose their parking spot and would reduce their (carbon) footprint.”

Boyd mentioned that they currently have designs ready to fast track production but that funds need to be figured out before building.

The other possibility being sought out is to add parking spaces to necessary areas. One area for surface expansion suggested by Boyd would be around Kenan Auditorium because the extra spaces would provide more parking for students during the day and for patrons at night.

Additionally, there’s a need to replace some parking in housing areas, for instance if it is converted into something else. The future dining hall which is to be constructed between Graham- Hewlett Hall and Galloway Hall would be one example of this necessity.

Overall, SGA and the university plan to accommodate for these issues at some point in the future, however, funds have not been drawn yet.

“We always try to keep certain amounts in reserves and new rates have helped (with our future plans),” Boyd said.

Once funds and set plans are drawn, the university will be inviting the input of students, faculty, and staff.