Parking issues hashed out at meeting

By Will Dewitt

With winter comes cold temperatures, multi-layers and congestion, and that’s just in the parking garages. Though the parking problem persists all year round, leaving students with limited options for parking, Matt Penney, director of parking and transportation services, explained at the Student Senate meeting over how his department is working to fix the current parking situation at Baylor.

“The university is taking a new look into how they do parking,” Penney said. “It didn’t take long to recognize that we have unutilized parking spaces; we have more student parking spaces than we sell permits.”

Penney noted there are currently about 3,000 parking spaces that are going unused — about 2,300 at the Ferrell Center and 1,000 in the East Campus parking garage – and that a main focus of his department was to create legitimate ways of utilizing those spaces.

Penney said that Baylor will be using a tiered parking structure in which parking at the Ferrell Center will cost students only $95 a year, $135 to park in the East Campus parking garage and $245 to park anywhere on campus. This would be accompanied by a bus service that would transport students to and from campus and the Ferrell Center parking lot and would run at intervals of seven to eight minutes.

Penney also said parking for bicycles would be more organized. The department is looking to bring a rental bicycle system where students would swipe ID cards to rent bikes in order to ride to another part of campus. The bikes may then be locked in another station for another student to use later.

After Penney spoke, the senate voted on the Texas Equalization Grant Support Resolution. The Texas Equalization Grant gives money to those who need financial aid and wish to attend private institutions. Consequently, Baylor receives the most funding from the TEG than any other institution in Texas. The proposal would cut 41 percent or $87.4 million, of the funding to the program. There are currently more than 3,500 students, which is roughly 25 percent of the student body, who are currently receiving funds from the TEG. The Student Senate voted to support the Baylor Ambassadors lobbying for the TEG in any upcoming legislation.

“Supporting Baylor Ambassadors is a good way of supporting our students,” said Beaumont senior and bill sponsor Will Fuller.