Columbia Street’s Green 3 parking is now paid hourly
A section of the Green 3 parking lot on Columbia Street will now no longer be paid annually. Instead, it will be paid hourly at the rate of $2 per hour, which students believe may increase overcrowding in the annual lot.
Adaline Grace, senior English major, owns a Green 3 parking pass and said it will be difficult to find spaces in the portion of the lot that is not designated for hourly parking unless students get up early in the morning.
“I paid for the Green 3 parking pass thinking that I would get a certain amount of variability for parking in general,” Grace said. “A lot of people with parking passes, they don’t want to go into the hourly parking. I assume there’s a lot more people with permits than wanting to pay for hourly.”
Chris Boyan, director of Transportation Services, said the main reason that portion of the lot was converted to hourly parking is that there has been a higher demand for hourly parking recently.
“The main people using the hourly parking have been students who go to class for a couple hours and leave,” Boyan said. “The other people who use hourly parking are employees.”
Converting that section of the parking lot to hourly parking did not require closing it, or any of the lot at all, Boyan said.
“The other changes that we made were we added some additional hourly parking near Ferdinand’s since people like to go there and get ice cream,” Boyan said. “We also added quite a bit more residence hall parking [around campus].”
Although Grace said the change is beneficial for those who pay hourly because it gives them additional parking, she suggests Transportation Services try to be more flexible to students’ needs, like clear communication and lower parking rates, and think of them when they make decisions.
“I really think Transportation needs to understand that if something positive doesn’t change in the next couple of years, then people are going to stop parking there,” she said.
Evan Smith, junior computer science major, also has a Green 3 parking pass although he has chosen to walk to class for the past three weeks rather than use the lot.
He wishes he would have received an email notifying him of the change because similar notifications have gone out before, he said.
“I find it annoying because there hasn’t been much notice about it. It seems very sudden,” Smith said.
Boyan said a message was sent out before the parking lot section was converted to an hourly rate although he did not have an exact date as to when.
“We really do our best to allow people to digest the change. Even for little things, we use email to our permit holders to communicate about things happening around campus,” Boyan said.
While hourly parking is beneficial for students who do not have parking passes on campus, Smith said it can be problematic for students who already park in that lot to have to deal with more traffic.
He said he recommends WSU find a lot it can completely transform into an hourly parking lot because that may be beneficial to students as well.
“Based on what I have seen, over there by the Einstein’s, I think that would match pretty well for hourly parking,” Smith said. “One of the Crimson lots over there would make more sense. There are definitely a few smaller lots around campus that would work as well.”