Parking issues SMU students face

Parking can be a headache. And now, parking enforcement is introducing a new citation system that will make it even easier to find violators.

“With license plate recognition we have two vehicles that are mounted with cameras, and we are now able to scan license plates at a much more quick pace than what we were previously,” SMU Parking and ID Services Director Mark Rhodes said.

Many students are finding it difficult to look for parking, even when they come to campus an hour before their class.

SMU Junior, Gracyn Heisterberg, said that a lot of people she knows arrive to campus an hour before their class and don’t find anything.

“They just don’t go to class or they park somewhere illegally and get a ticket,” she said.

Since June of this year, SMU Parking and ID Services sold 8,934 parking permits. But, there are only 7,140 parking spaces available at SMU. Do the math. There are nearly 1,800 more permits than there are spaces.

However, parking is available at the East Campus W lots, but as Rhodes says, “it’s just that they are not very close, convenient, or people don’t want to use them very much.”

On top of not being able to find parking, last year a non-resident student parking permit cost $320.00 while this year it costs $330.00. But, the $10.00 increase is not what’s upsetting students.

“I think that it’s a little ridiculous that we have to pay for that and then we are not guaranteed a spot,” Heisterberg said.

The only solution to end this ongoing headache is to get to campus hours before classes start.

“I learned very quickly that it’s best to have an early class and then stay parked on campus and not really move your car,” SMU Sophomore Jordanaé Scott said.