Our parking situation is better than others schools, police say

Kandice Johnson

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The parking situation here isn’t as bad as you think, especially in comparison to other college campuses.

The 238-acre campus holds almost 6,000 parking spots, and has 38 total parking zones for students – 19 zones for residential students and 26 zones for commuter students.

In comparison  to other universities, we have plenty of parking said Assistant Police Chief Mark Johnson.

Some students still find parking on campus to be limited, but according to Assistant Police Chief Johnson, 420 parking spots near Malone Stadium go unused every single day.

However, Johnson said bringing back the trolley system that once came around to pick up students every 20 minutes near Malone Stadium could be a possibility, though it might be an uphill battle.

When  ULM increased the decal and ticket prices back in 2013, frustration amongst some students seemed to increase as well despite the parking improvements made over the years.

SGA often gets complaints about lack of parking, but it’s hard to make improvements to the situation.

Johnson said it’s not an issue of parking spots not being available, but students choosing not to park in certain areas.

Johnson said it only takes an extra five-minute walk to get where you want to go on campus.

“All you’re doing is crossing Fant-Ewing to get to the bridge,” Johnson said. “When you’re at the bridge you’re basically everywhere you need to go.”

Hayes Callahan, a junior dental hygienist major and residential student parker, said that parking only seems to be a problem in the fall due to the incoming freshman, but it gets better by the spring.

Callahan also said that ULM should consider building another parking garage or buying more land for lots.

Harley Ogden, a junior history major with a minor in political science, and commuter student, said she doesn’t seem to have trouble with parking because she arrives early every morning.

Ogden said she thinks the cause for the lack of close campus parking could be due to students getting to campus late, but also because they don’t know where all the commuter-parking zones are.

Though both students have a different experience with parking on campus, they agreed on one thing: the parking issues are caused by the lack of in-depth knowledge concerning parking policy.

One of the recent changes to the parking zone policy was allowing all students to park at certain faculty-only parking zones after a certain time.

Residential parking students are also allowed to park in commuter spots after a certain time.

The faculty-only parking zone, between Stubbs Hall and the SUB, allows both resident and commuter students to park penalty-free after 2 p.m., while the faculty-only parking zones on the side of Stubbs Hall allows both residential and commuter students to park after 4:30 p.m.

Compared to schools like the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Louisiana State University, whose colleges are so complex it requires a bus system to pick up students, ULM is not that bad, police say.

When comparing ULM to universities with a close enrollment population, ULM’s decal price is $20 higher when you add McNeese University and Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s parking decal for fall and spring semester together.

Although McNeese State University provides the most parking zones for their student body, the university also holds the title of having a highest ticket citation price of the three.