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Parking additions include two new garages

Changes in parking both implemented and in the planning stages are eliciting concern from some students and anticipation from others as new parking garages are underway and more Gold Staff spots are implemented.

Students such as senior advertising major Angela Granese feel the changes already made – such as the addition of the Collins Boulevard parking facility -have had a positive effect, but still have problems finding a parking spot.

“The parking is not as bad as it was in 2003 and 2004, but I think it could be better. A deck in the engineering area would relieve the mass communications area (CIS), because engineering students park in the same area as us,” she said.

Granese is not alone; Valerie Noel, a senior majoring in public relations, said that the Collins Boulevard garage has helped, but added that she still has to park near the Alumni building in what she called a “secret spot” and walk to all of her classes.

To further improve the parking situation, the department of Parking and Transportation has a new parking garage, tentatively named Garage III, under construction at the corner of Laurel Drive and West Holly Drive. Garage III has a projected completion date of summer 2006, with the USF Parking and Transportation Services online fact sheet claiming the space for the new Alzheimer’s clinic, new advanced medical care clinic and the health sciences and fine arts areas. Frank Granda, operations manager of Parking and Transportation Services, said that occupancy of these spaces is still yet to be determined.

Also in the works are plans for a Garage IV, which Granda said will likely be located around the Magnolia and engineering area and include 1,500 – 2,000 parking spaces. It is presently unclear what kind of spots they will all be.

According to Granda, nearly twice as many parking permits are sold as there are parking spaces available, but with the new construction, the number of spaces is changing.

Members of the staff and faculty are also affected by changes in parking. Aside from the forthcoming parking garages, Granda said that there have been 27 spaces converted to gold staff parking this semester. These spots are located in Lot 9C, which is located between the H. Lee Moffitt Research Institute and the Psychology and Communication Sciences and Disorders building.Some students feel that a proper space allocation would be to allot more student spaces than faculty until the new garages are operational.

“There’s always a ton of wasted gold staff spots. I never see anyone parked in all of them,” Granese said.

The spots were changed to meet the needs of the faculty, according to Granda, but based on utilization the number of spots could be reduced