The car controversy

Cars parked behind the garage due to being full capacity.
Photo Courtesy: Khalyn Harris

Now that classes are back in session for the fall semester, FAMU’s campus has been hectic between reckless driving and minimal parking for students as well as staff.

On average, there are more than 1,000 auto accidents in Florida every single day according to Tallahassee Auto Data and Safety Information. This total amounts to around 400,000 auto accidents per year, with approximately 40 percent of these accidents resulting in injury or death.

In the Florida Uniform Traffic Citations, Leon County had over 450 violations due to reckless/careless driving. On the campus of FAMU, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office issued 39 violations last year on a daily average, as that number will likely increase by the end of 2022.

Terence Calloway, chief of police for FAMU Police Department, said they have made improvements on campus.

“We have implemented traffic monitors to help regulate speeding on campus. Officers are also conducting traffic observation points throughout campus as well,” Calloway said.

With just over 10,000 students enrolled in the university in 2022, 82 percent of the student population live off campus due to FAMU announcing insufficient space for housing to accommodate incoming students. Furthermore, 3,000 students are now forced to commute to campus with very minimal designated general parking. Some students don’t even bother attempting to drive because of the anxiety parking has created.

Kayla Cambell, a pre-nursing student, says she’d rather uber everyday than try to park her car.

“I avoid having to drive to just not have to deal with the parking situation,” Cambell said. “Now that freshmen are allowed to have their cars, there’s not enough space for everyone. I also feel like I have to be extra cautious because drivers on campus barely follow driving laws.”

Improvement to parking is up in the air, but students are hopeful that with changes that are happening daily, we can expect parking to expand soon. The Chief of Police explained how students want easier access.

“There are plenty of parking spaces on campus, however, they may not be convenient,” Calloway said. “We encourage students to park at Bragg stadium as well as utilize the shuttle services provided.”

Although there are multiple areas of parking, students try to get a closer spot to their class building in a quicker amount of time. Professors having a strict start of class time puts stress on students who attempt to be on time.

Lynnada Bailey, a health science student, said she is looking forward to the new changes as the parking is affecting her learning.

“Parking on campus is chaotic and it shouldn’t take 20 minutes. By the time I find parking I’m late for class and that doesn’t leave a good impression,” Cambell said.

For more information updates, visit the Office of Parking and Transportation.