In the latest installment of Sam Houston’s never-ending parking saga, the King Hall lot has been officially split to accommodate both green and blue parking permits. The lot is located on Bearkat Blvd. and Avenue J.
The lot has been split by a physical barrier. Residents, or blue permits, are asked to enter from Avenue J and park on the west side of the lot. Commuters, or green permits, are being asked to enter from Bearkat Blvd. and remain on the east side of the lot.
The lot has changed permit colors several times over the course of recent university history. When the parking garage was under construction and when Belvin was shut down, the back part was closed off to students. Residents were also being displaced by the construction, so the lot was a blue permit lot according to Kevin Morris, assistant director for Department of Public Safety Service.
“Since we didn’t know for sure and since blue was still using it but not to capacity, what they decided to do was split it. That way, we could still account for growth for on campus residents,” Morris said.
At the beginning of last fall, when Belvin was reopened, the surrounding lots were once again open to residents.
“The King lot, which was still blue for the semester, was really not being used by the residents in the sorority hill area” Morris said. “The student government got involved and they wanted to get the whole lot back over to commuters again.”
The lot became the second parking lot to house both resident and commuter parking permits. The first was the parking lot behind the Forensics building, off of 20th street. There is a section designated for faculty only, but the rest of the differentiation is based only on signs in the area, as opposed to a physical barrier.
As for the continued complaints about lack of parking for anybody on campus, stadium parking is still an option.
“The stadium lot is never filled, but I see people driving around the inner lots for fifteen or twenty minutes when all they had to do is park and walk- there’s not a parking problem per se, it’s a convenience issue for people that don’t want to make the half-mile trek, Morris said.
“There is parking available, it’s just that people do not want to make that walk.”
Summer parking rules will be the same as regular university parking rules, according to Morris. Students are still required to have a permit if they wish to park on campus, and all rules and citations can be enforced. Faculty lots will be strictly enforced, although other areas may be less strict in light of dorm closings and annual summer camps on campus.
“It’s kind of dependent on the university. Several of the dorms are shut down, camps going on, primarily housing visitors — different enforcements,” Morris said. “For the most part rules do not change, it’s just areas where we enforce or most likely will not due to dorms being shut down for renovation or cleaning or b/c they’re being used for off campus activities.”
Students can get summer permits at the Department of Public Safety Services in the University Police department in the Sam South complex. Summer I or May through August registration for regular parking is $40.00, Summer II or July to August is $35.00, and stadium parking for both summer sessions is $10.00.
“We’re trying to make the acc that we can base on the construction that is going on and the parking lots we’re losing, Morris said. “We don’t make the parking lots; we just enforce what they provide for you and me.”