Summer parking is a nightmare for commuters

A map of student and faculty parking spaces on campus. Photo source: Parking Services' website (

Jordan Drake

Parking may be one of the most frustrating aspects of Texas State, especially for commuters. With a small cluster of parking lots, options are limited. Students either fight for a parking space in a smaller lot that allows for the avoidance of headaches if found, catch the bus or give up and park at the stadium.

This is the unfortunate reality every academic year, with little to no change on the horizon. However, during summer hours, it should not be this difficult, as there are far fewer students on campus. Spots should be available everywhere, yet all the small parking lots are filled to the brim with commuters seemingly every day.

Even during summer months, the same parking problems persist. While not as bad as the fall and spring semesters, it certainly seems weird parking is still a frustrating problem, with students getting their time taken up too often by waiting and fighting for spots to open up. When commuters have to creep up right behind people to find a place to park, there is a problem.

During the summer sessions, additional spots open up via green residential parking, typically reserved for the students living on campus. While commuters are usually stuck parking within purple areas — which are few and far between — the school opened up the green lots to allocate for more space.

Realistically, more spots should equal more parking, fixing the issue. Yet, the daily battle for available spots continues. It seems students are either unaware this additional parking is available or it fills up so quickly people have to turn to fighting or giving up, parking at the stadium then taking the bus to campus. Resulting in the cycle mentioned previously.

On the surface, there appears to be an easy solution. Red zones are placed throughout campus, usually restricted to staff. Such spots are consistently open, especially during the summer. There seems to be a significant number of empty spots, enticing students to grab one and hoping parking services does not ticket them, even though the department always does.

This fighting for spots would be rendered unnecessary if all the empty spaces during the summer were opened as well, for anyone. It seems like a waste to struggle to park when there are perfectly good unused spots.

Even amending the bus system would go a long way in helping to alleviate the various parking issues. Students do not want to park at the stadium. It takes forever for the bus to show up, causing students to oftentimes be late; it’s usually pretty crowded, causing a tendency to make people wait a couple of times to actually board because of overcrowding.

The parking problem for not only commuters but all students with cars is only going to get worse as the school grows. Texas State is expanding rapidly with every incoming class, each increasing more than the last. Students are going to need parking during both the regular semesters and summer sessions. It seems counter-intuitive that no solution has been established to help deal with the various issues commuters continue to face. Texas State administration should be concerned that even with fewer students attending — given it is summer — parking still remains an issue.

The Transportation Services Advisory Council needs to find a solution to the problem. Students pay far too much in fees and fines to be subjected to half measures and placation.

It may seem like a minor issue since commuters are most affected and are not the majority, but it becomes exasperating wasting time trying to find a spot or wait on a bus that takes forever to show. Both issues require major adjustments, usually in the form of showing up significantly earlier, something not everyone can do. This problem has grown to a point where students who live only 20 minutes away from school have to leave an hour earlier just to make it to class on time.

Adding more flexibility between commuter passes in the summer semesters or utilizing the summer semesters to try out proposed solutions for parking on campus would go a long way with the student population.

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