Parking and Transportation Services has devised a plan to combat the parking issues that have plagued GC in years past.
John Bowen, the Senior Manager of Parking and Transportation (P&T) services, along with others took the idea of improving several lots on Main Campus Square to the Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee (PTAC). The thought behind it was to allow for more service spaces, handicap accessible spaces and loading zones.
“I feel like it will definitely help the problem but more parking should be designated for commuters. I noticed that a lot of the parking is being taken away for loading zones and service vehicles. I understand the importance but I feel like we already have enough spots designated for them,” Chloe Sirmans, junior political science major.
They took a holistic approach to the situation, so they could improve the parking problems everywhere on campus and not just on the Main Campus square. The hope was that they could take from spaces, such as centennial and bell lots, and give in other areas, to make an overall improvement.
“I think the upside far outweighs most of the trade-offs, but after we make these changes we continue to monitor and do utilization reports and see if its working and what we’re noticing and if there is any unexpected, unintended consequences of this,” said Bowen, “ we did not know that was going to happen, but we can always take it back to PTAC.”
A new lot will be added at the corner of Liberty and Thomas Street, located behind Public Safety. This space will be called the Liberty lot. This lot will be designated for employees and commuters once it comes online. The intended opening was the beginning of the semester, but due to weather delays over winter break, the opening has been pushed back to a date that is yet to be determined.
In Centennial Center parking lot an entire row of what was once employee spaces, has now been designated resident spaces. The front two rows which were once commuter and guests, has now also been designated to be shared with employees.
The Thomas Street lot, currently for commuters, is becoming a resident lot. With this means the removal of the Wilkinson lot, the current resident lot for Bell Hall students. This space is soon going to be home to the new integrated science center.
The Bell lot will become solely loading zone, service spaces and handicap spaces to help accommodate for students unloading. This change was made since the lot they currently park in is being taken away and the new lot is a further walk.
The ultimate goal is to build a new lot on Wayne St. and Montgomery St., but there is no definite timeline or definitive start date for this project.
Main campus parking lots will also have changes. The Old Courthouse lot, near downtown, has become employee parking. The Parks lot, located next to the Max and Parks Hall, is now mainly service vehicles and loading zones, not primarily handicap accessible.
“I don’t think the problem is fully solved yet because it’s not going to be fully solved yet until we build a four story parking deck where everybody can park and we don’t have to walk and everybody can have a good time, but for the most part, adding that extra lot it is on its way to getting better,” said Lily Movagharnia, junior biology major.