No guaranteed parking renewal for off-campus students

From The Battalion

By Calli Turner

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Off-campus students are no longer eligible for guaranteed renewals at Northside Garage.

Transportation services said the change was made to address a problem that allowed a large number of non-residents to renew permits for areas where residents should have the highest priority.

Emily Brents, sophomore history major, said even though she will be off campus next year, she can understand the change.

"I actually kind of agree with it, because if you live on-campus you should be able to park near your dorm and not have to walk from West Campus," she said.

"On-campus students should have a priority over off-campus students," Brents said.

Brittany Buchhorn, a senior psychology major and Northside Garage permit holder, said the change is unfair.

"That's not real cool," she said. "All of my classes are near Northside Garage."

Buchhorn lives off campus and said she will park in West Campus Garage the upcoming year.

"I'd probably be heated if I had an issue with it," she said.

Aside from a new parking demographic, the garage will also have updated entry and exit methods.

Northside Garage updated the gate equipment by adding a hands-free sensor the first week of July.

Permit holders may now use the parking permit; University ID card; TRANSCORE transponder or Houston, Austin or Dallas toll tag.

Hands-free transponders were issued to staff, faculty and graduate students with Northside permits June 24.

Transportation services said customers with toll tags from Austin, Dallas or Houston should activate their toll tag for access to the garage and return the issued TRANSCORE transponder.

Customers may do this by visiting the Transportation Services Web site.

Brents said the gate equipment changes are troublesome.

"It's a hassle," she said. "It's frustrating, but all the other garages make you do it. The Northside Garage use to be special: easy in, easy out."

Off-campus students who currently hold Northside Garage use to be special: easy in, easy out."

Off-campus students who have Northside Garage permits were required to select at least one alternate parking choice, and to select West Campus Garage or Lot 100 as the guaranteed option.

Transportation Services said 2008-2009 on-campus students who have Northside Garage passes are guaranteed a renewal.

Parking changes are also happening across campus.

Non-resident undergraduate students with West Campus Resident permits will not be eligible to renew, but will be issued West Campus Garage passes without the home football game day parking afforded by a resident pass, according to Transportation Services.

Off-campus students, such as Brents, who have parked in Northside Garage in the past, may find themselves with a longer trek to class.

"I'll be taking the haul from West Campus."