The Baylor Student Senate had a meeting to pass the bill asking administration to reform the moped parking policy on Thursday.
It was a close vote with a division of 13 voting for the bill and nine against it, the student senate passed the “Moped Parking Reformation Act of 2015.”
At the beginning of the meeting, the senate welcomed Baylor’s director of parking and transportation services Matt Penney. He presented a PowerPoint explaining administration’s decision.
The growth in moped drivers on campus was sudden and unexpected, according to Penney, and it posed some unexpected challenges.
“When you have 500 mopeds on campus and 32 mopeds parked next to the door, all of a sudden it’s a totally different look and it’s a totally different fire hazard; it’s a totally different issue.”
Penney said administration’s main concern was safety. He showed the senate a map with a mock student moped route from class to class. The map showed the fictitious student taking roads, but also cutting across grass and sidewalks, into pedestrian areas.
“We have a certain body of the population that would certainly not obey conventional rules of the road,” Penney said.
Ultimately, Penney said the goal of the new moped policy was to control intra-campus traffic and to comply with the strategic initiative make Baylor more of a “walking campus.”
Further down the meeting’s agenda, after Penney left, the bill was read and friendly amendments were made before the floor was opened to question the bill’s author, Chase Hardy.
The bill was co-authored by a non-senate member, however, and she spoke to the student senate first.
The Woodlands junior Casey Klopp started an online petition over the moped parking changes on change.org about a month ago, and it has since accrued 600 signatures.
“I do agree that mopeds should not be allowed to interfere with pedestrians and should not be allowed to drive on sidewalks, or pedestrian streets,” Klopp said. “But I feel like the new policies have just restricted the parking and made it a parking issue instead of a safety issue.”
“Mr. Penney and parking services obviously meant well…,” said senator Joel Polvado, supporter of the bill. “Parking lots for mopeds is a great idea, however, I do think you should be able to travel back and forth and I think that that’s what the students want and we are elected by the students.”
If it is not vetoed by the student body president, the bill will be handed on to the executive branch of the student government and they will pass it on to administration, including Ken Starr.