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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Parking, traffic topic explored

The first 6 o’clock series of the semester held last evening at the Union debated issues concerning parking and traffic, and addressed the beginning stages of future parking plans.

Six speakers, including Stacie Enriquez, manager of Parking and Traffic, Jim McArthur and Mark Brunner, both of Design and Construction and Bob Waddle, representing Capital Planning, spearheaded last night’s discussion.

One of the first topics brought to the table was a concern of Brent Arnold, senior at the University, about where all the money generated from parking passes and parking tickets is directed toward.

“I want to know where all the money goes,” he said.

The parking budget is an auxiliary budget similar to the book store, residence halls and athletics, Enriquez said.

“As an auxiliary budget, it generates it’s income to pay all of it’s expenses,” she said. “The money generated from parking tickets and parking registration funds the entire operation from the pens we use to the trucks we drive to the shuttle service.”

Questions and concerns about parking on campus have been continuously debated, but the master plan on redesigning parking on campus is being updated for the first time in 35 years, Waddle said.

“Right now we are in the midst of planning the largest expansion in changes that we’re going to see on campus across a large stretch of years,” he said.

An issue also addressed at the forum specifically affecting commuters is the attitude that there are not enough spaces available for them. In reality, there is plenty of parking available, but it might not be the most convenient place in their opinion, Enriquez said.

“We issue 5,500-6,000 commuter passes through the year, and there are around 2,700 commuter spaces,” she said. “What’s key is that not everyone is here at the same time. There are peak times like Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when we have the highest concentration of vehicles on campus.”

Due to the fact that the University is in a rural setting, people have the expectation they are going to drive to campus and park right next to the building they are going to, Enriquez said.

“If we were an urban area, we wouldn’t have that expectation,” she said. “Plus, we are a society of convenience and we’ve got hundreds of people vying for the same close space.”

Although the number of people who attended the forum was slightly lower than expected, many questions were answered and the answers were explanatory, said Jen Ward, program coordinator of last night’s event.

“People in charge of parking aren’t out to get you; they’re actually trying to work to get something done and there are plans being implemented, but they can’t do everything at once,” she said.

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