By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
“We urge the administration to take some time over the next month before construction could possibly begin, to study the current parking situation and how it will be affected once that lot is unavailable.”
The Optimist Editorial Board, of which I am a part, printed those words Aug. 27 in an editorial looking at the effects the new residence hall will have once it is built on the student parking lot across from Brown Library.
I am here to offer a dissenting opinion-to say crisis averted even before one parking spot has been lost to construction.
Since the announcement that construction could begin on a new residence hall in the next few weeks, the general response I’ve heard from students has been, “Where are we going to park?”
You have 573 options to choose from. On Monday from 9-10 a.m., that many empty student parking spaces were available in on-campus lots, disregarding the lot to be used for the new residence hall.
Granted, that number will shrink once the 196-space lot is occupied by construction and a residence hall. Although, even that lot was only two-thirds full during my extensive study of student parking.
Once those people find new parking homes, roughly 400 spots will remain to choose from.
You might not believe that if you only accept spots in the lots by residence halls such as Mabee, Edwards, Sikes or Gardner (zero spots were available when I checked).
In most every other lot at least a few scattered spots were available-including one prime space in the lot by Moody Coliseum and the tennis courts.
If you don’t feel like hunting for a space though, you can find a glut of parking by any student lot near an athletic field, such as Gray stadium or the intramural fields. Literally hundreds of spaces are available there, and it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to get anywhere on campus-and that is if you are really taking your time.
So freshmen and sophomores: If you’ve got a class on the other side of campus, feel free to start your car up and truck on over there. However, I can’t guarantee it will be any faster or worth your time in gas money. Upperclassmen in University Park Apartments and off-campus: Come on, too, although I won’t guarantee your spot will be in front of the building you want.
But I will go out on a limb and guarantee a parking spot will be waiting for you.
You might even be lucky enough to get that one prime spot in the big lot by Moody.