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New parking meters create closer parking spots on campus

Parking at VSU has transformed in the fall semester with the addition of four new parking meters available for students.

The new parking meters are bright green signs with location numbers listed on them and are located in the Langdale lot, Baytree lot, Café lot and the Student Union lot.

Melissa Wolfe, SGA president, said that the parking meters were a part of a resolution that the Parking Advisory committee proposed after collecting student feedback.

“In that resolution, it states that over one-third of student concerns shared with SGA [were] related to parking,” she said. “SGA recommended metered spaces in parking areas.”

Unlike the old parking meters that require in-person payment, these parking meters require all payments and services to be handled through the ParkMobile app.  A VSU parking pass is no longer required to use the meters and anyone, including visitors and staff, can use them.

Once an account is set up on the ParkMobile app, users simply type in the location number, set the time they will be parked at the meter and lastly, select the method of payment and pay depending on the duration of time selected.

Wolfe said that the new parking meters are supposed to help students out when it comes to parking options closer to campus.

“We expect the new parking meters to be successful,” she said. “Students now have the option to park for $0.25 per 15 minutes, or $1 per hour, with a 3-hour limit per day per lot. Students still have the option to park in the 45-minute spots for free. Our goal is to give students more flexibility with on-campus parking. “

Anthony Bryant, assistant director of Parking and Transportation, also said that he thinks the parking meters have been successful this semester.

“The parking meters provides individuals without a parking permit (including guests) a short-term parking option for parking close to campus to conduct business or attend events,” he said.  “This is also something Student Government Association (SGA) has been requesting for the past years.”

Even with the four new parking meters, students are still purchasing VSU parking passes.

A VSU parking pass for both spring and fall semesters cost $50, but students can choose to purchase a pass for only the fall semester for $30. Bryant said that this semester 3,948 students have purchased a VSU parking pass and that there has been a decrease of 380 student permits from last year.

Elizabeth Bishop, senior Spanish major and student assistant of Parking and Transportation, said that although the parking meters are available for students to use, students should still purchase a VSU parking pass because of the limited parking meter spots available.

“Still purchase a permit because while there are more metered spots now compared to timed spots before, it’s still not efficient because anyone has access to the meters, even visitors,” Bishop said. “To me, it’s too risky not to have a permit.”

The Parking and Transportation Department hopes to accomplish more goals and are planning to implement License Plate Recognition systems for its next project.

“LPR (License Plate Recognition)  is a comprehensive parking system used at different universities where individuals parking on campus can register their vehicles and park on campus without displaying an actual physical parking permit,” Bryant said. “The system has the capability to scan parking lots for illegally parked vehicles.”

There isn’t a set date for this system to be installed, but the Parking and Transportation Department is in the process of getting the system developed.

Story written by Lenah Allen. Photo courtesy of Lenah Allen.

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