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Parking and parking permit sales increased this year

Parking and parking permit sales increased this year

Parking and parking permit sales increased this year
September 11
09:00 2019

Added parking on campus to accommodate the growth in student population has been a new change for students this semester, with more parking permits sold and more adjustments made in regard to UNT’s expansion.

The UNT Transportation Services sold 836 more parking permits this year than last year with 1100 new parking spaces added at Fouts Field, senior communications strategist Margarita Venegas said.

We’re not trying to sell only parking permits,” Venegas said. “What we want is just to be able to provide for our students’ needs no matter what they are. And if it’s more convenient for you to park on campus, then here are your options. And we’re just hopeful that people can take advantage of it.”

Complications arose during the first week of school with student parking lots filling up faster than in the past, Venegas said.

The first Tuesday of classes, the Highland Garage had to be shut down for about half an hour due to the rush of activity in the garage from guests and students parking in the garage when their convenient parking lot was full, Chris Phelps, senior transportation services director, said.

“The biggest activity is always the first couple of weeks because people are still trying to get used to where they go to class and taking a little more time,” Venegas said.

Phelps said students tend to stay on campus longer the first couple of weeks causing more traffic and typically resulting in more problems with parking, so transportation is focusing on fixing those issues for the next school year.

“I think the transportation department needs to at least focus some attention on pedestrian, bike and skate traffic education,” fashion merchandising senior Brooke Freeman said. “The traffic on campus is bad, yes, but it’s even worse due to students literally jumping in front of cars and not giving drivers enough time to react.”

The Transportation Services tries to reach out to students over social media with educational information and to connect more with students’ parents, Venegas said.

“What makes sense to students is to have a parking space that’s really close to where they are,” Venegas said. “But when you park in Fouts Field and they have a shuttle that can take you to class in 10 minutes, you can actually get to your class in 20 minutes as opposed to waiting for an hour. So, we’re trying to do some work in social media and make connections with students so that we can explain that to them and hopefully help alleviate their fears.”

UNT has about 15,000 parking spaces in total with about 11,000 dedicated to students and about 3,000 for faculty, with the rest for guests.

There are general resident parking spaces for those who live on-campus for $275, first-time freshman parking at the Victory Hall lot for $275, Eagle lots dedicated to commuters for $275, resident reserved for parking closest to a student’s residence hall for $400, faculty permits for $250, faculty reserved for $700 and the Highland Street Garage parking for $675 annually. 

Currently, there is a wait list for the resident lots with somewhere between seven to 23 people on it. 

“Freshmen parents were buying parking permits like nobody’s business,” Venegas said. “And that really meant the upperclassmen or maybe people whose parents weren’t behind their permits, had to rush because there was so much activity. We got a lot sold, but we’re trying to think of strategies next year, so that some people who can’t pay earlier in the year will still have some parking options later in the year.”

Venegas said that UNT typically sells more Eagle lot permits than there are actual spaces because of commuters not being on campus at the same time.

Other than parking, UNT’s Transportation Services and the DCTA offer the free Park-and-Ride at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Denton by I-35 where students can park their car at the hospital and ride the bus to campus, Venegas said.

Along with the Park-and-Ride, UNT offers bus routes for students on and off campus with no charge.

“That’s the beauty of this school,” Phelps said. “There’s so many different types of options.”

UNT Transportation has also lowered the price of citations, Venegas said.

The first citation received from parking can be appealed or is a charge of $12, the second citation is between $12 to $35, the third citation is $35 and the fourth citation is $70. Comparably, last year the price for the first citation was $35 instead of $12.

“We don’t bite,” Phelps said. “And I realize people don’t sit around thinking about parking all day long. They need it when they need it. But we really do want people to succeed. And we do really want to help.”

Featured Illustration: Zahraa Hassan

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Rebekah Schulte

Rebekah Schulte

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