Troy University has well within the number of parking spots to assume the national parking standard, that is used by over five other universities within the state according to Herbert Reeves, dean of students.
Around 5,000 students were allocated parking decals for the 2013-2014 academic year for the 3,777 student parking spots on campus.
The national parking standard used statewide by schools such as Spring Hill College, the University of North Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of West Alabama and the University of South Alabama was used to determined Troy’s parking standard.
According to the university records office, the Troy campus has a student enrollment of roughly 7,000 students. The national standard requires 49 parking spots for every 100 students. Based on these numbers, Troy would need 3,430 parking spots to meet the national standard. Troy surpasses that number by 347 parking spaces.
“We do not have a parking problem,” said Reeves. “We have a convenience problem.”
Reeves has been over Troy’s parking system for the last 13 years.
”We don’t have a parking problem until the new arena lot and the north parking lot are full,” Reeves said.
However, Reeves does admit that new construction on campus has created parking congestion, especially for residents of the Newman Center and students at the School of Nursing. He said that this issue is under review by the Student Government Association and will be addressed.
John McCall, chief of the campus police, said that Troy University is a “pedestrian campus” and that students need to see it as such.
McCall said that he would urge students who need to park during busy hours like 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to utilize the shuttle system or park in the open lots on campus.
According to McCall and Constance Flowers, the assistant administrator for student involvement, these lots are available parking for anyone with an updated parking permit. Open lots include the north stadium lot across from the fire station, the McKinley lot near the new arena and Fraternity Row.
McCall said that there are no plans for new parking construction.
“If we built more parking lots, I am not convinced that students would use them because the lots would not be in convenient places.”
From noon to 1 p.m. on Sept.18, 63 free parking spots were counted in the north stadium lot, the parking lot next to the football stadium field house. However, this count might have come out different if taken from 8-9 a.m., when most students are in class.
Despite the facts, Trojans of all ages and disciplines have opinions on the condition of the parking system. Some agree that we have a parking problem while others, like Reeves, see it as a convenience problem.
Jared Carlisle, a junior music education major from Valley, lives off campus and commutes daily.
“There is definitely a problem, but I feel as though it’s more of a space issue rather than convenience,” Carlisle said. “I don’t mind walking, but I do get (annoyed) when I have to drive around campus hunting a spot and end up late for class.”
In contrast, Taylor Dehne, a senior elementary education major from Ashford, also commutes. Dehne said that she typically does not have parking problems when she arrives at campus at 8 a.m.
“Personally, I have no problem because my first class is at 8 a.m. so I get great parking,” said Dehne. “But other than that, yes, parking is an issue. There are not enough parking spaces for all the students.
“I know that I have ridden around for 20 minutes before, looking for a spot and was late for class. I would say it’s a parking problem because there aren’t enough parking spots or lots for everyone to park in,” Dehne said.
Dr. Mark Walker, director of bands at Troy parks in the gated faculty lot next to Smith Hall.
“I think the larger we grow, parking is becoming more of a problem, but I think it’s really more of a convenience problem,” Walker said. “Too many people want to park right next to the building they have to go into.”
“Over the years, I’ve seen people get in their cars next to Smith Hall and drive to the band practice field rather than walk. I’ve seen people drive from Bibb Graves to the stadium rather than walk. Like I said, I usually park in the lot between Smith and Hawkins and walk across the quad to Bibb Graves. I have no problem walking,” said Walker.