Students have been complaining about parking for a while now. FGCU grew faster than expected, and all of a sudden, there were more students to accommodate than the campus had space for.
There is a possibility that three new garages will be built in the next few years, though it’s also possible that the project may get pushed back several years.
If it were to happen sooner rather than later, would it fix the problem?
When I first started at FGCU in 2012, I looked at the campus map and parked in the garage closest to where my classes were; that’s logical. It’s also convenient, hence why most people do it.
The story was always the same, though, especially in Garages 1 and 3, consequently the most conveniently located garages: circle the first floor in hopes there is a spot left, and if not, trek it up to one of the higher levels.
Then, I discovered Garage 2. Garage 2 and I have since forged a strong friendship. Garage 2 always has parking. As a matter of fact, this semester, I have never had to leave the first level to find a spot.
Whenever people complain about parking, I try to help them see the light, but alas, they cringe and complain further. “That’s too far!” they say.
Seriously? It is a five-minute walk to the library. I would much rather get to school 15 minutes earlier to get a guaranteed spot than spend those 15 minutes circling a parking garage in frustration along with at least 10 other frustrated people in their cars.
“It might help in the long term, but doing it now will simultaneously make driving and parking more irritating by dealing with construction around campus. I could also see it having no impact whatsoever,” senior Paul Dolan
Sophomore Caitlyn Mannherz, who commutes to campus from Naples twice a week, said she thinks it would help. “If the school keeps growing, they’re eventually going to have to create more parking,” Mannherz said. “It would also be great if they installed parking guidance systems that count the number of available spaces on each parking level.”
Jayne Johnston, a senior Environmental studies major, is also a commuter. She said she doesn’t have trouble finding parking because there is always parking in lot seven, which happens to be the next-door neighbor of my aforementioned friend, Garage 2.
“It depends on where people want to park and weather, as there’s no covered parking in that lot,” Johnston said.
So, building three new garages — unless they are somehow as conveniently located as garage 1 and 3, which is not really possible — may not fix the daily complaints.
People should be grateful they have a car. Park where there are spots available and walk a little bit extra.