As the student body grows, so do the constraints on the university. While Florida A&M’s student population is at a record high, there is a drawback in limited access to parking spaces this semester. When asked to comment about the parking situation, there were mixed reactions among students.
“It’s terrible,” said Darnesha Carter, 19, a psychology student from Miami. “There are never any parking spaces, and people are parking without a permit.”
Patrick Patterson, a 28-year-old graphic design student from Fitzgerald, Ga. said, “I don’t have a problem with it. I hear Florida State’s parking situation is even worse.
FAMU assistant Police Chief James Lockely said that parking is not an issue. The issue is people’s desire for ease of access and proximity.
“We have adequate parking on campus,” said Lockely. “It might not be convenient, but we have adequate parking.”
When mention of a new parking garage, Lockely said he would love to build one to accommodate students, but the funds are lacking.
“Costs are $15,000 to $16,000 per parking space to build a parking garage,” he said.
One option he suggested to acquire the money needed, would be to raise the cost of transportation fees.
With FAMU at its highest enrollment, students who drive have had to adjust their morning routine to find a space and make it to class on time. Both Carter and Patterson leave their homes at least 30 minutes before class to have an opportunity to look for parking spaces. These students and others have thought about other means of transportation to school.
“I’ve thought about the catching the bus,” Carter said, “but it’s too crowded. Some students have to catch two to three buses to get to campus.”
“I’ve rode the bus before to school,” Patterson said, “it takes me seven minutes to get here from work and 30 minutes to get back.”
As for parking regulations, Lockely said they will remain consistent like they have in previous years.
Students offered some suggestions to help improve current parking conditions.
“I wish they would fix the parking garage’s leaks and lights,” Patterson said. “It’s always dark regardless if it’s in the daytime or night.”
Lockely says registration for parking decals begins now.
To register, go online to www.famu.edu and OurFAMU and follow the steps. Parking decals will be mailed within 15 days of registration. If decals aren’t received within that time, temporary parking permits are available at the Parking Services office.