The start of the academic year brings many expenses and decisions. Included is the decision many students face in buying a parking permit to one of the allocated parking zones. With an increase in enrollment numbers and expansion of student housing, there has been concern regarding the West Reserve parking zone, parking availability and parking security and safety for the upcoming year.
West Reserve parking
The West Reserve parking zone has lost 128 spaces due to the construction of the new Center for Fine Arts building, according to the Director of Transportation, Parking and Safety Systems Samuel Patterson.
“We are currently working on three new lots in the south end of campus that will house 123, 80 and 35 parking spaces,” Patterson said. These are estimated to be completed by late fall and will include a shuttle service to west end.
Junior biology major Claudia Vulcan is one of many students on campus who needs to have access to campus parking.
“I paid $375 for a Brady ticket, however this did not guarantee a spot,” Vulcan said. “I was not financially ready to buy a parking pass when they came out in July, but when I was financially ready, they were out of passes. I had to pay 12 dollars every day Monday-Thursday until about December.”
Peak student arrival hours, according to both Vulcan and Patterson, are between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Finding parking on campus between these times can prove to be quite difficult.
“Last year we had an excess of parking spots. It is important for students to plan ahead, they have to arrive with time to spare,” Patterson said. “Students can bike, use the shuttle system and try to plan ahead. If you have a permit and can’t find a spot, call the transit center and they will find a spot for you.”
However, students do not always find these to be viable options.
“One time I came an hour early and couldn’t find a place to park, so I didn’t go to class because I didn’t want to risk getting a ticket,” Vulcan said. “You pay so much for a pass which might not even allow for parking. It is very inconvenient and parking at BSU, in general, is very inconvenient for residents and commuters who do not live in Boise.”
The safety on campus is a top priority for both students and staff, according to Patterson.
“Because I am younger and a female—unless I parked in a garage—it is super dangerous. Parking outside of a garage was therefore never an option,” Vulcan said.
She raised further concerns about lack of lighting, cameras and surveillance throughout the parking zones.
“There is a committee that is working on a camera plan across campus, as well as a campus-wide lighting committee and patrols will continue,” Patterson said.