On-campus parking by the numbers

UMKC commuter student Sam Skinner spends a lot of time trekking across campus to find student parking.

Even though UMKC sold the fewest number of fall parking permits this year since 2012, Skinner and other students say parking is scarce this semester.

Skinner, a communication studies senior, paid $135 like most students for her parking pass and is irritated by the lack of convenient parking.

“Parking in the lot that I want never happens,” Skinner said.

UMKC sold just over 6,800 fall semester parking permits for the 5,010 permitted parking spaces on campus—a difference of 1,710. Universities tend to oversell parking permits since students come and go throughout the day.

For commuters, UMKC tries to keep the ratio of parking spaces-to-parking permits issued at one space for every 1.6 permits sold, according to UMKC Director of Media Relations John Martellaro. However, this ratio is relatively low compared to the standards held by other universities of one space for every two permits sold.

The Oak Place Apartments’ parking garage also remains open, even though the apartments are closed for renovations. Students can purchase permits for the OPA parking garage for nearly $30 more per semester, and these permits are allowed in most other permit parking lots.

Since the closing of OPA last semester, the number of students living on campus has declined by 28 percent, from 1,646 to 1,176.

Though parking may be difficult for commuting students, there seems to be no problem for students living on campus

“I go for the same spot every time,” said freshman Tomas Stewart. “I only park in the [Cherry Street] garage.”

Stewart may not have a problem with finding a spot on campus, but he does have an issue with the price of parking.

“We’re paying for a lot already, make it cheaper,” he said.

Johnson County Community College, about 30 minutes away from UMKC, provides free parking for everyone, and Missouri Western State University provides a majority of student parking for $5.

But other colleges such as the University of Wisconsin face parking problems similar to UMKC..

UW has a ratio of one parking space for every five students.

“Parking permits are off limits to students, who are instead encouraged to walk, bike, or take the bus,” the New York Times reported.

Like UMKC, Northern Arizona University has a housing problem which hurts parking. According to The Odyssey, students who attend NAU, parking permits start at $400 per semester, but parking spaces are not guaranteed.

UMKC currently has no plans to expand student parking on campus. Though some permitted parking, such as in Rockhill Parking Garage and surface lots, fill up quickly, there are usually quite a few spots available in the upper levels of Cherry Street Garage, said Martellaro.



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