New year same parking problems: How FGCU can fix the never ending pursuit to find a spot
With winter break coming to an end and a new semester beginning in less than a week, I realized there are several things I’ve missed about FGCU, but parking is not one of them. It’s no secret that FGCU is growing rapidly, and the student population at our university is continuing to escalate each year. An increase in the number of available parking spaces in convenient locations should accompany this growth, but garage expansion has yet to take place.
Many commuters drive an hour or longer to get to FGCU, and once they arrive, they struggle to find a parking spot and get to their classes on time. The university needs to take steps to address this problem.
Medens Gerbier, a senior political science major, commutes to FGCU, and she believes the parking at FGCU could benefit from some major changes.
“Parking on campus is brutal,” Gerbier said. “Nothing is more hazardous than competing with hundreds of people for a parking spot at nine in the morning. It typically takes me about 20 minutes to find a parking spot, but that’s after I’ve, more or less, stalked someone for their spot. I am not a fan of our current parking. There are too many cars at one time and not enough parking garages in lucrative spots that would make it worthwhile driving to another garage.”
It goes without saying that Garages 3 and 4 are typically the fullest garages, and they remain packed throughout every school day.
Garages 1 and 2 typically have many vacant spots because students do not want to park half a mile away from their lecture hall, and they want to get as close as possible to the building they have class in.
Numerous students have classes in Marieb Hall, Edwards Hall, Merwin Hall, Griffin Hall, Howard Hall, Whitaker Hall, Academic Building 7 and other buildings that are close to Garages 3 and 4.
These buildings are central to the university, and FGCU students who have classes in these buildings are likely to park in the nearby garages. But, there simply aren’t enough parking spaces in Garages 3 and 4 to meet the demand.
It doesn’t appear that FGCU has the space to build another parking garage on the northwest side of campus. However, expanding Garages 3 and 4 by constructing additional levels would make a huge difference by providing more parking spaces for students who have classes near both garages.
Building an entirely new parking garage might not be necessary, but expansion of existing garages would be helpful and accommodating to students, especially long-distance commuters. Traffic jams, university morale and overall student satisfaction would improve significantly.
FGCU is a tremendous university that has a lot to offer, but some major improvements regarding the current parking situation would greatly benefit the students. Our university is growing for a reason; being an Eagle is wonderful. Expansion and parking garage development are crucial to meet the demand for parking spaces in convenient locations. As college students, homework and final exams are what we should stress about, not finding a decent parking spot in the morning.