The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024

Campus parking still problematic for some

Providing adequate parking to a community of more than 10,000 students and faculty with only 5,980 spots available can be a mathematical nightmare.

With classrooms stretching from Mockingbird Lane to Daniel Avenue, securing a parking spot can be stressful for both students and faculty.

According to Mark Rhodes, director of Park ‘N Pony, the department is aware of the limited parking.  

Rhodes said that one way to avoid headaches is to buy a parking permit.  

Park ‘N Pony issued 2,000 employee parking permits and 4,600 student parking permits this fall.

In addition to selling parking permits that allow students and faculty to park in selected areas, the department encourages the use of public transportation.    

“We provide alternative means of transportation to limit the need to drive on campus,” Rhodes said.

“Students and staff can buy passes at five dollars. This enables one to travel on both DART trains and buses throughout the metroplex.”  

He added that there are also shuttle buses from campus to DART stations, as well as within the campus vicinity.

Park ‘N Pony monitors SMU’s parking lots. Money from parking tickets funds the operations of the department.

However, securing a parking permit and parking in the correct spot does not always solve the problem.

“The other day, I was ticketed while parked in the correct location with a valid parking sticker,” said Rob Thomson, a senior in the cinema department.  “The ticket was placed right on top of the parking permit on the windshield.”

Thomson appealed and received a warning instead.

Julia Olson, who lives on campus, said she never has problems finding a parking spot.

“I move my car closer to my hall of residence when everybody is gone,” Olson said.  “I can always find parking.”

The parking crunch is not likely to go away soon.  

Proceeding with its 10-year master plan, SMU is in the process of turning the campus into a pedestrian-friendly environment, by eliminating more brick and opening up broad spaces with fewer cars zooming by.

The objective is to give the University an aura of a place where one can come to study and reflect without the distraction of noisy traffic, according to Rhodes.

“Cars have a place, and we are trying to have a place for cars,” Rhodes said. “The goal is for one to park the car and then walk from class to class.”

The department will continue to educate and encourage the campus community to take advantage of public transportation as an alternative to driving.

The most recent initiative is the SMU Rides emergency program, which offers transportation to students to campus.

From Thursday to Sunday, students can call to be picked up from off-campus locations.

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