Piedmont’s parking problem

By JANIE HARRIS, JOSH PARRIS, SHELBY WHITEHOUSE
Sports Editor, Interim-EIC; Staff Writer; Conributing Writer

Have you had trouble parking recently? Students at Piedmont College are beginning to voice their frustrations about parking. It has been a hot topic for a while, but with the new student village being built, a new question arises. Where are those students going to park on campus?

Sophomore business major Aaron Patterson said: “There aren’t enough spots, and we have a growing student population. It is not something that is going to go away over time.”
Campus Police Chief Dick Martin explained that right now, everyone has a place to park on campus as long as everyone is parking in their allotted parking lot.

But not all students stay in their assigned parking lots. Many admit to parking in lots meant for others, and many get away with it. Still, campus police write over 500 tickets for parking per year according to Martin.
Martin said that when it comes to ticketing, the department mostly looks for cars without appropriate decals and cars that may be bothering others. But he said he does believe that they will have to come up with a new policy for students in the new village.

“I do, at every opportunity, try to get the school to add parking,” said Martin.
Martin said the final decision about the village in relation to parking will probably be made by whoever replaces him, since he is retiring in the near future.
But what about parking right now? Piedmont recently hired professional drivers to operate a shuttle in order to prevent students from parking in lots meant for others.
Weldon Herron, a driver hired to run the new shuttle, said that there is just a lack of parking spots.
But there are empty spots on campus.

“I have talked to administration about somehow utilizing the spaces over at the amphitheater and around the Swanson Center. There are about 200 spaces that sit open every day,” said Martin.
Junior education major Christi Spence agrees with Martin about utilizing parking near the Swanson Center.
“There is a lot of parking over there that gets unused during the day, but that’s still a pretty good walk,” said Spence.

Will students’ parking frustrations ever be calmed? Not so long as students’ convenience mentality persists. The only real fix at the moment is to park at a distance and be willing to walk. Don’t forget your coat!