Metro plan to cut parking spaces
MetroRail coming to UH in five years and construction for new parking garages starting by the end of the year evoked prompt reactions from students.
Staff Council’s town hall meeting on May 27 gave UH faculty, staff and students about six months to prepare for changes to a 36,000-student commuter school. The Council announced that construction of at least one rail line and three parking garages will result in 1,800 fewer parking spots and an 8 to 15 percent increase in the cost of parking permits.
‘My first concern is the parking,’ education junior Raniah Adams said. ‘There isn’t enough as it is and now it’s going to be even more frustration getting to class because of something I’m not even going to ride.’
The Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee suggested building more parking garages, including one on the stadium lot, to help ease the lack of parking in the future.
But the construction to build the garages and other planned expansions to the campus means a loss of more spots in the meantime.
The 8 percent raise in the cost of student parking permits (15 percent for those staying over the summer) suggested by TPAC is one of students’ biggest complaints.
‘Make me pay for it when I can park in it,’ marketing sophomore Elizabeth Reis said. ‘It’s really bad for me because I have to pay for school. My car note and insurance is $600 a month and now this?’
Humanities freshman Lourdes Escalante said she wonders why she should have to pay for a garage she couldn’t afford to park in anyway.
‘I understand we as students should help pay for something that will benefit us, but how am I sure I’ll be able to park in one of these parking garages?’ Escalante said. ‘I pay for economy parking right now, so I doubt I’ll have enough to pay to park in a garage.
One student said light-rails should be exclusive to students.
‘If I’m going to ride light-rail, it needs to be students only. I don’t want it open to the public,’ Reis said.
Some students didn’t mind if light-rail is open to the public as long as proper security is at the stops and riding the rail.
‘I’d ride it if they made more of an effort to secure our safety,’ biology senior Pamela Rodriguez said. ‘I’ve rode light-rail before and there was no security or anything on it. It was at night, and as a female I didn’t feel completely safe. It’s something they would have to address before I considered riding it again.’
Riding Metro buses is one way to help get around the construction that will the campus streets.
The Metro Q Card is sold exclusively at the Metro Ride Store on 1900 Main St. Proof of full-time enrollment is the only way to purchase the Metro Q Card at the 50 percent discounted university price.
The council will hold another town hall meeting to address concerns by the UH community in the fall semester.
For announcement of the next town hall visit: http://www.uh.edu/sc/
For information on the MetroRail construction visit: http://www.uh.edu/af/transportationplan.htm