Parking problems

About 15,800 parking spaces provide for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 26,089 combined students and faculty.

Dan Carpenter, director of Parking and Transit Services, said that’s more than enough, but if UNL enrollment grows Parking and Transit will be prepared.

After Parking & Transit Services reviewed the campus parking infrastructure and operation, staff developed a plan to deal with future enrollment growth. The department installed a new Parking Access and Revenue Control System, a software that monitors parking areas to determine the changes that need to be made.

Starting next year the 19th & Vine Parking Garage will incorporate the surface lot north of 19th and Vine streets. Additionally, 1,000 resident permits will be shifted from the 17th & R Parking Garage to the soon-to-be-built 18th & R Parking Garage next fall.

This shift will create more commuter parking availability in the 17th & R garage. The Beadle Center south parking lot will also continue to accommodate faculty, staff and commuter students but not resident students.

The price of a permit for students and faculty will also decrease from $53 to $50 for the 14th & Avery Parking Garage, and it will include an hourly parking option where visitors and students without a permit can pay with a credit or debit card.

“Students have several parking options available including surface, garage, reserved and hourly parking to help with campus access for academic, work and social needs,” Carpenter said. “I believe students are trying to make the best economic decision possible, however, I think some underestimate the time they spend on campus and the long-term costs for hourly parking versus purchasing a parking permit.”

But parking challenges remain a frequent complaint among students.

Freshman psychology and Spanish major Reagan Myers usually parks in the lot on 17th and Vine streets, behind Knoll Residential Center – but she lives in Abel/Sandoz.

The residential parking lot for Abel/Sandoz, which she has a permit for, fills up fast. Myers said she especially dislikes walking home alone from 17th and Vine to her residence hall late at night.

“If I take my car it’s because I have obligations like going to work or the grocery store,” Myers said. “I can walk to my classes. But if I have to drive anywhere, there’s no place to park.”

Myers originally wanted to buy a parking permit for the 19th & Vine Parking Garage behind Abel/Sandoz, but the garage was more expensive than the residential parking pass and already full.

Tyler Schindler, a junior agriculture education major, suggests that a better option might be assigned spots for students. His problem isn’t finding a parking spot but finding his car after he’s parked it.

He sometimes chooses to park in the faculty/staff lot near the stadium so he can avoid a long walk when he’s carrying 20-pound gear to his car for his job in the Athletic Department.

But because his favored lot isn’t open for students Schindler has received multiple parking tickets.

Both Myers and Schindler agree that the A lot doesn’t get a lot of traffic and might be put to better use if it was available for students instead of just faculty and staff.

But former UNL student Jordan Krause would rather see more public transportation in use on college campuses.

“It’s a lot more cost-effective than bulldozing historic buildings in Lincoln to pave the ground for more parking options,” he said.

Krause began his own biking company, called Ficksed Cogs and Chain, where he fixes and sells used bikes. He also supports UNL giving every student a bus pass. Though, he said the bus routes need to be more exposed to the students.

Krause used to park his motorcycle in a designated area for motorcycles. After parking his vehicle in the same area for a semester, he walked out to find six motorcycles including his donning parking tickets.

Krause said a sign had been put up prohibiting parking beyond that area, but he never saw it.

“I don’t think (parking) is a problem unique to the university,” he said. “I think it’s a bigger problem,”