PARKING AT APPALACHIAN AND WHAT CAN BE DONE
There is a major problem on the beautiful campus of Appalachian State University. Parking is always an issue with students, parents, visitors, and faculty. It is an issue because the land around Appalachian is mountainous and over crowded, so there is a lack of parking areas available. Numerous tickets are given out every week for parking violations. Students are getting fed up with the lack of parking available to them and want to see a change. This change is attempting to be made, but if you really look at what is being done it will probably only cause a larger problem in the long run. In response to this, Roy Tugman, the director of Public Safety and University Police says until changes are made students, faculty, and staff will have to adjust their lifestyles in order to deal with the parking dilemma. (Huffman, App. Online)
Right now, if you park illegally on-campus, you will receive a thirty dollar parking ticket. If you park in a fire lane you will receive a fifty dollar ticket. Students are aggravated and frustrated every time they go to their car in the afternoon and see a ticket sitting on the windshield. This would not be a problem if it only happened on weekdays since students are not allowed to park on campus, but this problem also occurs on weekends when they are supposedly allowed to park on campus. If students are allowed to park on campus on weekends, then why is it that they are still walking out to their cars and finding parking tickets on them. The problem is just a revolving circle that almost all students are fed up with.
Also, when parents and friends come to the campus they should have designated parking places for them instead of having to drive around for hours at a time looking for a open space. Almost all Universities have designated visitor parking lots where the visitors are always able to find adequate parking for them. Many times, friends and families of Appalachian students have come to visit and awakened to find a thirty dollar parking ticket on their car. This is a very big problem because if it occurs much longer, people are not going to want to visit Appalachian. The Parking and Traffic mission statement states, the primary purpose of the ASU Parking and Traffic department is to provide parking services and traffic control for faculty, staff, students and visitors. (www.parking.appstate.edu)
There are many things that are attempting to be done to eliminate these parking problems on the Appalachian campus. Shuttle services and rides have long been available to students through the university, but they do not seem to be working as effectively as many would assume. Many students are constantly complaining about the lengths of time they have to wait on the Appalcart to come and get them and take them to State Farm and how long they wait on it at State Farm. We could easily eliminate this problem by purchasing more vans for transportation or making better routes. A great idea would be to have the vans run on twenty-four hour shifts to transport the students that have to wait until the morning the get their car from State Farm.
Another major concern is the use of parking decks. With parking decks located on or near campus there would be easier access for all the students here with vehicles. There has been discussion about the usage of land behind the Convocation Center located on Hill Street. The process of construction on this land has turned into a dilemma. If they take this proposal into affect they will eventually have to tear down the parking deck that they have spent a duration of time and expenses on. On Hill Street where they plan to build a parking deck there is a flood plain. If they decide to build a parking deck for better access for student parking, this would not be the place to do it. If they build it on top of this area it will eventually be put to ruins, which will be a waste of Appalachian s money. If they could find a site that is suitable for students, visitors, and the college itself, we will be able to solve a problem that has been a predicament for years.
Instead of new eye catching buildings that will consist of expense for the school, the money that Appalachian receives from donations could be used towards parking decks. If Appalachian used the money towards parking, many people would benefit. The chaos of parking on late nights or the weekdays would make it more convenient and less stressful on the students and visitors. In doing this, it could also help with the recruiting of new students. When coming to visit the campus the families would be appreciative of the easy access of the parking deck and transportation for their child to and from campus. If it were possible to make all of these changes on the Appalachian campus the parking problems would be solved. Parking decks instead of single lots could more than triple the parking lot sizes on campus. Students would appreciate this expansion greatly. No more unwanted tickets, no more searching for parking space, and no more harassing visitors with unneeded tickets. Until the alterations are made students, faculty, and staff will have to adjust their lifestyles in order to deal with the parking dilemma
When the University officials decided where to put the potential parking deck, they were obviously not thinking of the flood plain. A great idea for a spot for a parking deck would be the football stadium parking lot. There is already a great deal of parking in this parking lot, but if a three story parking deck was built there, the parking lot space would easily triple without having the risk of it falling down due to the flooding. Also, if a parking deck were built in this parking lot, there would also be more room for parking along the outside of the deck because it would not take up the whole parking lot.
All of these ideas should be considered by the University officials when deciding what to do about the parking problem on the Appalachian campus. Students are getting fed up with endless parking tickets and the hassles of parking at State Farm and having to wait on the Appalcart to come and take them the three mile drive back to campus. A change is needed badly and it is going to take a lot of deliberation and consideration of new ideas to get this change done and successful.