Campus parking changes to address traffic issues

Parking services increase faculty parking, decrease student parking. Photo credit: Liesje Powers | Lariat Photo Editor

By Ethan Freije, Lariat Staff Writer

Baylor Parking and Transportation Services recently introduced new regulations that give faculty and staff exclusive access to the interior parking lots on campus. In exchange students will have increased parking in the Speight Parking Garage.

An email sent by Student Life detailed the new guidelines:

“To improve traffic flow around the busy pedestrian crossing at Third Street and Speight Avenue by the Foster Campus and East Village, student parking in this area has been relocated into the Speight Parking Garage.”

Students may no longer park in the Sid Richardson Building, Glennis McCrary Music Building or Russel Gymnasium lots due to the amount of traffic it creates in the area.

“The pedestrian crossing where Third and Speight intersect was not ideal, and so it became a point of concern for the Department of Public Safety,” said Matt Penney, director of Parking & Transportation Services. “Those meetings led to conversations about ‘should Third Street be closed down?’”

By giving these interior campus parking spots to faculty and staff, Penney said he expects less traffic and, thus, increased safety in these areas.

“Faculty and staff parking is more predictable; they show up in the morning and usually leave around 5 o’clock. Student schedules vary a lot more. That plays into trying to control and predict the traffic,” Penney said.

These changes will only affect students with a “FLEX” permit, which costs $350 and allows for parking in a variety of locations across campus.

For students looking for a more affordable way to park near campus, Baylor has introduced the “Ferrell Permit” for $50. This option allows for parking at the Ferrell Center Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition, this permit allows students to park in faculty and staff lots three times during the year without penalty.

“I think it’s a good value for students. [The Ferrell Center] represents about 20 percent of our total parking inventory. If we can get 400 people to use the Ferrell parking lot, that will change the dynamic of parking on campus.”

Students parking at the Ferrell Center can then take an express bus to campus. The bus will run every 10 minutes, and will make stops at the Baylor Sciences Building, Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation and McCrary Music Building.

With football season on its way, students also need to be aware of Baylor’s game-day parking rules.

Dutton and Speight parking garages will close at 6 p.m. on Fridays before a Saturday home game. According to Baylor’s website, any cars parked here after 6 p.m. will be towed.

Other areas of campus, however, may be utilized: At 3 p.m. on Fridays, students with a parking permit can park in the East Campus Parking Garage as well as all faculty and visitor lots on campus.

For the first home football game, which takes place on Sept. 2, the same rules will apply for East Campus and Dutton garages by shifting the respective times back one day to Thursday. The Speight garage will close at 1 p.m. on Friday.