A huge parking issue at WPU…Or is there?

wide shot of WPU parking lot packed full outside of Flowe building

By Kimothy Jones Jr.

With the number of students attending Peace soaring, there are going to be some growing pains. The top aching feeling for Peace students has been on campus parking.

This semester, students have been heavily frustrated with the apparent lack of parking. Some students have found it difficult to find parking spots when getting to campus, and are forced to park somewhere off campus.

That can especially make things irritating if you’ve bought a $150 parking decal and you aren’t actually parking on campus.
“I’ve probably parked in the campus lot maybe three times all semester, and I bought a parking decal,” said Arielle De Pas, a WPU student.

“We need to get more parking, but it’s kind of hard to build that around here.”

Students have tried other options with parking, such as parking in Seaboard Station, or in other parking lots and sidewalks in other facilities around WPU.

Unfortunately, because of the two hour time limit in most of these spots, students either get ticketed or have to move their vehicles multiple times throughout the day.

Also, students must be mindful of parking on curbs, because if they happen to be blocking other cars, that could also warrant a ticket. Then there are always those who probably try to park on campus in the hopes they won’t get caught by Public Safety. With a $50 fine per violation, students probably won’t try that for long.

When asked about a solution on how the school could try to make parking easier, Alexis Shriver, a WPU student, said “Not allowing freshman to park on campus, Main parking sucks, and I hate parking near Bingham.”

Public Safety is in charge of the parking situation at Peace and assures there are enough parking spots on campus.

“The problem is that most students want to park in the Main parking lot, that is why it’s always full,” said Michael John, Public Safety officer.

“There is always parking on campus, in Peace Beach, Delway Street, the parking area between Halifax and Hobb Street, and on Franklin Street. As for allowing freshman to park, it is something that has been discussed, but there is no decision on that yet. We do have parking to accommodate all the students on campus right now. Of course, we expect to grow even more, and probably we will make arrangements to have other parking on campus.”

John went on to point out some other things that could be a detriment to students being able to park.

“The folks that live out in Wolf Creek, we encourage them to use the shuttle service, but a few of them still drive their cars to campus. If the Wolf Creek students use the shuttle service, that would help elevate some of the congestion in main parking lot,” said John.

“From my experience students want to park as close to the academic building as possible so they don’t have to walk, but I think students should get to school earlier to give themselves time to find a parking spot instead of driving up five minutes before class so they won’t be late. I can guarantee every student a parking spot.”

William Peace University is just over 21 acres. The thought of students having a problem walking to class seems unsympathetic when you really think about it. However, perhaps Public Safety doesn’t take into account faculty members that park on campus as well. According to Public Safety, there are about 450 parking spots on campus give or take. According to student accounts, there were 310 parking decals sold this semester.

As you can see, the numbers don’t suggest that students should have trouble parking. Take into account the students here and there that try to park on campus without a decal, and that could be a problem.

So, the question is, is there really a parking problem at WPU? Or are the students perhaps engaging in a bit of hyperbole? What are your thoughts?

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