After years of complaints from Georgia College students, faculty and staff about parking on campus, GC Parking and Transportation services decided to act on the issue of scarce parking around campus during the summer of 2017.
“We are just trying to get people from where they are to where they are going,” said John Bowen, senior manager of GC Parking and Transportation Services.
Bowen said it was time for the parking plan to be reviewed because over ten years had passed since the previous plan was implemented. Susan Allen, vice president of finance and administration, assembled a parking task force in February 2017.
Composed of various interest groups on campus, including Auxiliary Services and Organizational Development, University Senate, Staff Council, SGA, University Housing and Facilities Operations, the task force was directed to work with the City of Milledgeville to solve existing challenges and better GC parking for all who use it.
The task force altered multiple lots around the university.
The Adams lot has shifted from a shared resident and employee lot to solely employee parking. The Kilpatrick lot, previously commuter and employee parking, is now also strictly an employee lot. The former perimeter parking spots in the West Thomas Street lot have been reassigned as commuter parking.
The Old Courthouse and Mayfair lots now contain only guest parking spaces. An additional residential gravel parking lot is being added to the Centennial parking lot right behind the Depot.
Alongside adjustments to campus parking, the City of Milledgeville has taken action as well. Spaces along Montgomery and Clarke Street that were not previously time sensitive will now be limited to two-hour parking.
“We needed to right wrongs from the past,” said Hank Griffeth, Milledgeville City Planner. “We’ve developed two-hour, controlled spots with the efforts to create more spaces for the commuter students.”
The parking task force hopes that implementing forced turnover in these public spaces will transfer the once employee-filled spaces to student-occupied spaces.
Tony Alcarria, senior lecturer of Spanish and Italian, said he approves of the modifications to employee parking.
“I have definitely noticed there haven’t been as many problems trying to find parking now as there have been in the past,” said Alcarria.
Sophomore Alison Jarvis, an early childhood education major, reacted differently to the parking changes.
“Teachers didn’t need more parking,” Jarvis said. “I pass by the employee lot next to the Education Building in the middle of the day, and there are always empty spots. Also, when I toured the campus my junior year of high school, they promised a parking deck by 2016. It is now 2017.”
It seems the parking controversy at Georgia College will continue, but until further developments occur, students and faculty can find updated parking maps at the GC Office of Parking and Transportation in the Depot.
“There is just not enough asphalt [or] white lines,” Bowen said. “With campus being squeezed between neighborhoods and downtown, we have never had a whole lot of space. We just have to work with what we’ve got.”