New year starts with old parking issues

Loud honking and obscenities are just a few of the old habits returning to Florida A&M University with the students this year. Aug. 28, marked the official first day of class for the fall semester, and although it is a new school year, the old parking problems have returned.

“The parking on this campus is terrible,” said Christopher Henderson, 21, a senior business administration student from Colorado Spring, Colo. “We need more places to park and another garage.”

Henderson’s sentiments were echoed across the university. To avoid some of the parking troubles some students have decided to catch the bus.

Courtney Harbour, 22, a junior psychology student from Conyers, Ga., chooses not to drive her car so she will not have to deal with the campus parking situation. But Harbour said riding the bus is not much easier.

“It takes me about an hour to get home by bus,” Harbour said. “I deal with the infrequencies of the bus and the fact that it does not go to a lot of places just because of the parking situation.”

According to the Department of Public Safety and Parking Division at FAMU, the school has more than 23 parking areas for students and more than 30 faculty parking areas. Last year there were 5,264 students registered to park on campus, but only 2,430 student parking spaces available.

However, there were 1,228 faculty members registered to park on campus, with 2,302 parking spaces available in which faculty could park.

“There have been conversations about looking into available lots south of Foote-Hilyer,” said Henry Kirby, assistant director of DPSPD.

Kirby also said he is not at liberty to discuss whether there were any final decisions on a new parking garage coming soon.Kirby wants to ensure students that DPSPD is in the process of reconfiguring parking spaces in an effort to increase student parking.

Last semester the FAMU Police Department and Parking Services merged into one building located on Wahnish Way.

Tamera Brown, 21, a junior criminal justice student from Bradenton, offered a possible solution to the many parking problems.

“I believe that they should devise a plan to minimize the faculty parking every year when they find out how many spaces they will need for faculty,” Brown said.

“Then, just give the rest of the spaces to students.” Brown suggested the university needs to figure out some way to change spaces every year according to the numbers so they can accommodate both the students and faculty.