New lot to help minimize towing, tickets

While the University’s students are complaining about towing, parking tickets and having no where to park, Parking Services is trying to ease the complaints.

Faculty, staff and students now have a new place to park their cars. The new lot is located behind Lee Hall. The total capacity is 38, and a total of about $16,000 was allocated for development.

“We have been getting outstanding usage out of the parking lot,” John Kirby said. Kirby, director of parking services, is a 1988 Florida A&M University vocational industrial education graduate. He has been active in the position since 1991.

Construction Support Southeast, a local construction company, took less than one month to finish the parking lot. The new parking lot has been officially open for business for about four weeks. Kirby said the lot first opened to assist a function that was held in Lee Hall and has been operating since.

“The idea to extend parking behind Lee Hall had been into thought since 1997, but due to budgetary funds it did not come about,” he said.

Kirby, with the help of Joseph Bakker, the associate vice-president of Administrative and Financial Services, reintroduced the idea. Bakker has been in the position for about six months.

The lot has been labeled for general parking; however, individuals who have a GP decal can still be towed. Micheal Watson, coordinator of parking enforcement said cars will be towed if they have blocked a car in, have more than three unpaid tickets or park outside of the design of the lot.

“I think the lot is needed,” Dennis Wright said. Wright, 19, is a sophomore health care management student from St. Petersburg. “I do not feel it is a setback for the budgetary funds because the University will benefit from it.”

“It is definitely an addition to the University as far as assessing the students needs; however, I do not feel it is an asset to the University as a whole because there are other areas the money could be allotted to,” Gregory Bacourt said.

Bacourt, 20, a junior social work student from Miami said the $16,000 allocated to the new lot could have been placed in one of the many educational arenas.

Sam Houston, director of facilities planning and construction was not available for comment.