Problems emerge after lot closure

Students said they are still experiencing parking difficulties after the second week of Lot 19A’s closure, even though parking officials said that enough spaces are available on campus.

"I have to come an hour early just to find somebody, track them down, ask them for their spot, wait and then get it," said business sophomore Norris Kwan, who used to park in Lot 19A.

Located between Melcher Hall and the UH Law Center, Lot 19A has been closed because of the Calhoun Lofts construction. The Lofts will be a housing facility designed for professional and graduate students and is part of the University’s master plan aimed at enhancing campus life. The housing project will replace Lot 19A, eliminating approximately 700 student-parking spaces.

Students have said they are encountering congestion problems in Lot 20A, located across the street from Melcher Hall, because certain spaces have been blocked by illegal parking.

"You know when you get here, and there’s already like 50 cars circling the parking lot waiting for somebody else to pull out?" marketing senior Laura Radke said. "It’s been like that."

The University has provided enough parking spaces for students, Robert Browand, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said in response.

"Parking and Transportation Services did react to the situation and has provided adequate spaces," he said. "The reality is that there are 757 available spaces, and if the students do not wish to use them, that is their decision."

Parking and Transportation Services’ estimate breaks down as follows: on average, 182 spaces remain available at the free Texas Southern University satellite lot on Scott and Rosewood; Lot 4A and 8A each contain somewhere in the area of 175 empty spaces daily; the parking garage has 100 spaces available; and construction is under way on 125 new parking spaces in Student Lot 18A, near the Law Center.

"The 125 new spaces are scheduled to be completed by the end of September," Browand said. "Rain in July and August delayed their opening."

The 125 new spaces will be in two parking lots – 40 spaces behind the Law Center and 80 spaces east of the Keeling building, which is still under construction near the Recreation and Wellness Center.

The Law Center spaces will be open to students on Monday or Tuesday, and the spaces next to the Keeling building will open sometime during the second week of October.

Business senior Brenda Ruiz said that the University should have communicated the closure to students.

"I think it maybe should have been planned better," she said. "Maybe just thought a little more about where students are going to park."

The University is trying to address the parking situation as quickly as possible, Browand said.

"The only way to replace the spaces lost in 19A on the east side of campus would be to build a garage," he said. "This is exactly what we plan to do; unfortunately, it takes time to seek approval, design and build such a structure."

Construction for the east parking garage is expected to begin in May and be completed by fall 2008, Browand said. The garage is expected to be built in Lot 21, across Calhoun from Melcher.

For more information about parking lot closures, visit

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