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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Students express parking frustration as semester starts

Article Originally Published by Ryan Cantrell on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Ryan Cantrell on North Texas Daily

As the university kicked off the first weeks of the fall 2021 semester, those who wished to secure parking for their vehicles discovered complications due to a shortage of open spots.

Recently, university students and their families have posted questions and rants across various social media platforms, including Twitter and the Mean Green Family Facebook group. These posts focused on a common theme: the frustration of trying to find a space to park their vehicles on campus. 

Roark Anderson, a 2020 history graduate returning to campus this semester to take ceramics classes, is one of many university members who expressed their frustrations on social media.

“I definitely have a lot of experience with the parking situation and I have to say it’s actually gotten worse over the years as UNT gets more students but never gets significantly more parking,” Anderson said. “I have an Eagle Annual permit, which means I have access to most of the parking lots on campus, however for the entire first week [of classes] I had to park in the lots behind the Super Pit [and] by the bridge to Apogee Stadium.” 

Anderson also pointed out students who illegally park in grassy areas and the edges of parking lots hinder others who are trying to safely navigate around campus lots.

Reilly Ruggiero, an information science student who recently transferred from the university to Texas Tech University, stressed how the campus’s parking infrastructure adversely affects students’ safety on campus.

“As a young freshman woman, I found it terrifying that my two options were parking at Apogee Stadium, a mile away from my dorm room [and] across the highway, or paying $600 ($1200 yearly) for the Highland Parking Garage,” Ruggiero said. “I found it baffling that the university thought it was OK to make the youngest, least experienced students park furthest away.”

Despite many students expressing their frustration, the university’s transportation department says that there is no shortage of parking spaces.

“The east side of campus remains a popular destination point and it can get filled quickly, especially during the first couple weeks of school,” said George Stieren, senior communications specialist for Transportation Services. “However, the campus has consistently had hundreds of open parking spots. These are mostly in Lot 20. Although there are buses that take students to the interior of campus from Lot 20, we have found that students continue to try to find parking in a lot they think will be quicker to class when the reality is that parking in Lot 20 and taking a bus to campus can be much quicker.”

Stieren also said that Transportation Services is implementing new actions to smooth students’ and staffs’ parking experiences. The university is reclassifying lots 80, 81 and 85 to Remote lots and offering these parking passes at $195. Stieren said the department wants to expand access to these lots to commuter students, as well as try to extend shuttle service hours to and from Lot 20.

Featured Image: Cars fill a pay-to-park lot near Crumley Hall on August 31, 2021. Photo by Meredith Holser

Source: North Texas Daily

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