Parking issue still prevalent

Economy parking lots, including lot 9C at Wheeler and Cullen (shown above), tend to be empty early in the morning when some students arrive to secure a parking spot. | Katie Rowald/The Daily Cougar

UH services and groups continuously attempt to find students a solution for the recurring parking issue.

Students spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more searching for open spaces, occasionally opting to park illegally rather than arriving late for class or missing it altogether.

“It takes me 30 to 40 minutes to park on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” advertising student Christopher Boutte said. “I try to park as close as I can.”

Many students like Boutte prefer to park as close as possible, rather than utilizing economy lots and walking or riding the campus shuttle. Most economy lots have open spaces, including lots 9C and 8A near the corner of Cullen and Wheeler.

Students can also follow Parking and Transportation Services on Twitter to receive updates on the availability of parking in lots all over campus.

“I follow UH Parking on Twitter,” public relations student Claudia Hualde said. “When I’m on my way to school, I check the capacity of the lots and see where I can park.”

In addition to the Twitter campaign, UH has a number of parking projects in progress, in an effort to alleviate parking stress.

While the construction of the Stadium Parking Garage has cost the university parking spaces, three temporary lots are under construction west of Cullen at Dennis, Leek and Anita Streets.

According to a Parking and Transportation Services press release, the Anita lot is scheduled to be completed by October, and the other two lots should be finished by January 2011. The three lots should provide approximately 240 parking spaces and will be equipped with lighting and security phones.

UH also announced the launch of the Connect by Hertz Program on Sept. 13. A continuation of the University’s green initiative, the program allows UH students 18 and older to rent a car without leaving campus, an ideal arrangement for students living on campus. They can avoid paying for a parking permit and there will be more parking available for commuters.

The program will begin with four cars, including a Mazda 3, Mazda 6, Ford Fusion and Ford Escape, available through online reservations. Students, faculty and staff who enroll in the program by Dec. 31 will be able to waive the usual $50 annual membership fee and the $25 application fee. Additionally, the first 100 students to register will receive $35 in their account, equivalent to about four hours of drive time.

Another reason parking lots become jammed is because students all arrive at the same time. Those who arrive early enough are almost guaranteed a parking spot.

Psychology student Cindy Pachicano said she typically arrives to campus around 9 a.m.

“If you get here early, you get to park in front,” she said. “But you have to plan on getting here earlier than your classes start.”

Additional reporting done by David McHam’s Advanced Writing and Reporting class.

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