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The Battalion

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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Transportation Services addresses student parking concerns

With+the+2021+Fall+semester+in+full+swing%2C+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+students+have+started+to+experience+a+campus-wide+parking+shortage.
Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

With the 2021 Fall semester in full swing, Texas A&M students have started to experience a campus-wide parking shortage.

Many students who purchased a Lot 100 permit were faced with frustration when parking on campus and attempting to get to class on time.  
Lot 100, located on West Campus, consists of nine separate sections, with the six most popular surrounding Reed Area, as well as two near the intramural fields on Penberthy Drive and one near Blue Bell Park. According to the Transportation Services website, a one-year parking permit for Lot 100 costs $339. However, any Texas A&M campus member with a valid permit is allowed to park in Lot 100 any day of the week, which often means the spaces are filled before many Lot 100 permit holders have the chance to park on any given day.  
After having these problems, many students took to Twitter during the first weeks of classes to voice their frustrations.
International studies junior Matthew Mascorro said trying to park in Lot 100 is far too stressful. 
“Forty minutes before my class started I’d leave my apartment, but I would still get to class late because it would take me 20 to 30 mintues to find a spot,” Mascorro said. “So I just started taking the bus and … I think I’m probably saving myself a hypothetical 20 minutes.” 
There are several things to think ofwhen it comes to why Lot 100 is continually overcrowded, Debbie Lollar, executive director of Transportation Services, said in an email to The Battalion. 
“In Lot 100, we must account not only for customers with Lot 100 permits, service and business permits and [parking] violators, but also any other customer with an A&M permit who chooses to park there,” Lollar said. 
Additionally, more permits than physical parking spots are sold for Lot 100, Lollar said. 
“It is common and best practice to sell more permits than there are spaces in the lot,” Lollar said. “Otherwise the space is very much underutilized, and customers who want to park there angrily inquire why they can’t use any of the many empty spaces.”  
Transportation Services does have a plan to accommodate the transportation needs of the growing student population with the introduction of the new Mobility Master Plan, according to a copy of the proposal which was emailed to The Battalion.
“[Transportation Services] wishes to develop a plan to help garner campus-wide commitment to getting people to and around campus without needing to drive personally owned vehicles,”  the proposal reads.
The proposal also mentions the promotion of cleaner public transportation as well as trying to remain financially sound as some of the new plan’s goals.
“The need for environmental sustainability and financial self-sufficiency places some constraints on the transportation system, but also creates opportunities to refine efficiencies, forge partnerships across the university and the region and create more integrated, multi-purpose facilities,” the proposal reads.
Transportation Services hopes to achieve these goals with the help of Walker Consultants, who has been contracted for the project, Lollar said.
“Walker Consultants won the bid to complete the project. The early weeks were spent discussing appropriate data points to evaluate and develop timelines and communication tools, including the website AgsOnTheMove.com,” Lollar said.
Students can learn more about the Mobility Master Plan and provide feedback by visiting Transportation Services’s interactive booth in Rudder Plaza between Sept. 27 and Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation Services will also be conducting a mobility workshop in Memorial Student Center Room 2300B on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on the project, students can visit the Aggies On The Move! website.

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