Survey shows parking plentiful
October 29, 2007 —
The annual fall parking suvey conducted by University Police suggests parking at SVSU has ample parking accommodations.
Every September and February, University Police conducts a two-week long survey of all parking lots on campus during peek business hours,
This year, with an increase of more than 200 on-campus residents, a decision was made to develop three types of parking permits for residents instead of only two, as had been practiced before this school year. There are permits for Pine Grove residents, permits for First Year Suite and Living Center North residents and permits for Living Center South and Village residents.
Parking Services Coordinator Joyce Payne said that the new system has produced positive results.
"So far, the three permits have worked out very well. This has been the best fall semester in more than five years as far as parking and complaints."
Ron Trepkowski, University Police chief, says that the police monitor the parking situation closely.
"We keep a close eye on the need for parking everywhere on campus. If there is an issue, we address it."
Which is one of the main reasons the annual parking surveys started more than five years ago.
"I haven't seen or heard of a university with a parking system as good as ours," Trepkowski said. "We want to continue that trend."
Some universities do not allow first year students to have a car on campus, others have only a limited number of permits available and some universities charge students for a parking permit. A parking permit for an on-campus resident at Ferris State, for example, costs $95.00.
SVSU allows first year students to have cars on campus and does not charge any students for parking privileges on campus.
"You are always going to have people that aren't happy," says Trepkowski, "and you can't make everyone happy. Still, what university do you know of where you can park right outside your building?"
Joyce and Trepkowski both said they do listen to valid complaints or recommendations. A few years ago students asked for visitor spaces closer to the buildings for when parents are visiting for a few hours, and the spaces were added soon after.
"If someone comes with a complaint or suggestion that makes sense," Trepkowski said, "we can make some changes."
The survey shows that even the high volume lots such as J-1 have spaces available in them during those peek hours.
Even on Wednesdays, which according to the survey is the busiest day for the lot, there are still more than 50 spaces open at the peak morning and afternoon hours.
"We have seen E-Lot getting more full this year," Trepowski said. "But that just reflects growing enrollment. And at best, E-Lot is slightly over half full during those peak hours."
The survey doesn't reflect the Village West parking lots during their peek hours at night. Police have still been keeping an eye on those lots at night, and while they're most full at that time, Trepkowski says there are still plenty of spaces open.
"We also hypothesize every year about how many residents will bring cars to campus," Trepkowski said. "And our estimates are usually very accurate."
This year, about 73 percent of residents have vehicles parked on campus, which is one of the highest percentages to date.
"We've seen about 75 percent one year," Payne reported. "But we've also seen percentages as low as nearly 60 percent. Granted, if we saw and increase to around 95 percent, we'd be in trouble."
"But we don't see enough shift from year to year to expect the percentage to increase that much," Trepkowski added.
For more information on SVSU Parking Services, go to www.svsu.edu/universitypolice/parking-information.