By Dayri Vargas-Osorio
(SAN MARCOS)- As the city of San Marcos remains one of the fastest growing cities in the country and enrollment at Texas State University continues to increase, current students commuting to campus experience trouble finding parking.
With an acceptance rate of 71 percent and an enrollment of more than 38,000 students, Texas State University has not only brought market investment to this area, it has also brought a greater student population.
As the university keeps expanding to welcome more students and the city keeps efforts to construct a highway that would allow for better traffic flow in the area, many students experience major struggle when looking for a parking spot.
“Well, there is nowhere to park generally, unless you come super early,” said Will Spencer, a senior physics student. “Some parking passes are like $500 dollars to buy which seems a little crazy, and more [crazier] when no parking space is secure for the use of whoever buys a pass.”
According to information provided by Texas State University Parking Services, 22,470 parking permits have been sold for the 2016-2017 academic year. This number reflects parking permits in restricted, residential, motorcycle and perimeter parking facilities.
Currently, there is no exact number of parking spaces at the university. The last reported number from 2016, prior to construction projects near campus, indicated10,284 spots were available for students and faculty in and around campus.
“We may sell 16,000 perimeter permits and have 4,000 spaces,” said Parking Services in an email. “But all 16,000 vehicles are never here at the same time. Our counts show 1,000 empty spaces during peak hours.”
For students like Spencer, parking issues at Texas State keeps rising as the number of incoming students continues to increase, not only because this reduces parking spaces, but affects bus routes as well.
“Not only do I have to wake up early to fight for a parking spot. I must wait for the bus to get to the building I want to get for class,” said Samantha Lopez, a junior at Texas State.
“Bus routes are so packed that I think it’s time for the institution to think in better ways of transportation and parking services,” said Lopez.
Texas State University continues to strive for the best education and facilities for its faculty and student body, but many students feel it’s necessary to pay attention to the parking issues that can no longer be ignored.