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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Parking plan halted due to many concerns

When Texas A&M Vice President for Administration Charles Sippial hired Transportation Services Director Rodney Weis, he told him that he wanted A&M to have the best parking system in the nation.
“(Weis) was the best, and still is the best, parking director in the country,” Sippial said.
A&M officials will be regrouping, reconsidering, then reemerging with a revised parking proposal with more specific details in the next couple of months, Sippial said.
Sippial said he still believes Weis will turn A&M into the model for transportation operations in the country, despite the new setbacks.
A&M President Robert M. Gates said in a University-wide e-mail Friday that he decided to bring implementation of the plan to a standstill due to serious concerns, as well as much misunderstandings and misinformation from a number of groups and individuals on campus.
Sippial said one misunderstanding is that there will be no 24-7 reserved spots, when in fact they would be reduced in number, but not eliminated.
“We can’t eliminate them all; there are people who need access 24-hours a day. Maybe not every day, but the times they need them, they need them.”
Sippial said a frequent question asked of him that he couldn’t answer was how much reserved spaces would cost. He said they haven’t run the analysis on the costs yet.
“We borrow money to build parking garages and surface lots on a 20-year basis,” he said. “We have to look at a fair and reasonable price to charge, but also consider we have visitors’ revenue, but the folks who want it 24-7 will have to pay the bulk of those charges.”
Sippial said people have been concerned or confused about who would assign the parking, about how the assignments would be made for the 400 expected faculty members and about the process of grandfathering.
Sippial said poor communication is a major problem that has occurred.
“We’re going to go forward and try to make sure when we come back out with this program that it’s one that’s clear and concise and we can answer all the questions, and we can get support of all our customers throughout the campus.”
Speaker of the Student Senate Matthew Wilkins said the Senate supported the original plan under the condition that on-campus residents received parking priorities near their dormitories.
He said he would speculate that the new plan would give more concessions to faculty members, but hopefully not to the disadvantage of students.
“We’d have to reevaluate it with the student government to find out what our position is on it,” he said.
Weis said he knew there would be a lot of resistance to the plan, especially from faculty members.
“We’ll keep moving forward.,” Weis said. ” It’s kind of like dancing: three steps forward and two back.”

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