Crowded parking lots are a familiar sight to WTAMU students. The 2012-2013 academic year is no exception from this view despite the recent changes in the parking situation on campus.
Students are still required to purchase parking permits if they intend to park on campus. However, the permit is now valid for any zone on campus. This is a change from the zoned parking from previous academic years in which students were required to park in designated areas. The changes were brought forth in an effort to maximize utilization of the parking lots available on campus.
“The designated permit per area limited the use and utilization was low in many areas,” Meri Odell, director of Police Administration, said. “The goal is to provide the best utilization of the available parking.”
The retirement of zoned parking is not the only change in the parking situation. Violation charges have also increased to $35 per violation. The recent changes are a concern to many students as well as faculty who were also subject to the change.
“Finding parking on campus is extremely difficult and very hectic,” Alexa Roberts, WT Graduate student, said. “More often than not I end up parking off campus.”
There are alternative parking options available to students. The shuttle buses located at the First United Bank Center are up and running. Students are allowed to park at this location and ride the shuttle, which makes four designated stops around the University. A parking permit is not required to park at this location and this option is also available to faculty. The shuttles run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
In addition to the shuttle service, zone 17 was opened last week. This additional parking lot is located behind the Buff Sports Complex and adds an additional 600 open parking spaces. A parking permit is not required to park in Zone 17, which is available to both faculty and students.