Missouri Western students once again face an issue this fall with on-campus parking due to record enrollment numbers.
The Parking and Security Services department has seen a 13 percent increase in the number of first-time permits since last fall, increasing from 4,516 to 5,100. The number of general parking spaces available to students has only increased four percent or 94 parking spaces.
Despite these drastic differences, Police Chief Jonathon Kelley assures students that parking spaces have been available during peak periods during the week days.
“More general decals are issued than spaces available because not all students are on campus at the same time and they’re not here the entire day,” Kelley said. “This does not cause a problem as evidenced by our hourly lot counts that show there are available parking spaces across campus throughout the day.”
A report sent out last week from Campus Police detailed which lots were open. According to the report, lots B, J and K have parking spaces open even during peak periods in traffic.
Even with these lots open, Western’s Police Department has already gained $8,285 in revenue from parking citations.
Kelley said that the revenue is primarily used for operating the Parking and Security Services office
Director of Facilities Lonnie Johnson is also aware of students’ concerns about the parking situation.
“We have more than adequate parking,” Johnson said. “[It’s] the same issue we have every year. People want to park right in front of the door where they have classes.”
Johnson said that the parking lots that fill up first are usually the lots in front of Eder, Popplewell and Hearnes.
“All three of those buildings are grouped together very closely,” Johnson said.
A new problem that students have encountered this semester is a back up of traffic on the public roadways.
“I come onto the campus from Farron, and turn right on James McCarthy Drive, and one of the biggest hassles for me is just the traffic congestion coming onto the campus,” said senior Clay Minchew.
Johnson said this isn’t the first time he has heard of this problem but that he and his department haven’t heard any complaints thus far into the semester, but realizes that traffic back-up occurs.
“That’s just the nature of the beast, especially when everyone tries to leave at one time,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that improvements to roadways have alleviated this problem in the past 5-10 years and that further improvements to Mitchell Ave. would help.