For the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year, the University of Indianapolis restructured parking in an effort to make it more convenient for everyone on campus. The changes created both positive and negative feedback, which included several commuters starting a petition. However, the university recently announced changes that would be made to the updated parking system.
In an email sent on Sept. 27 to faculty, staff and students, Vice President for Student & Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli announced that the university would be making changes to parking and had taken the feedback from several forums with over 400 participants into account. The changes include the following:
- 90 spaces added to Lot 26 behind the Athletics Recreation Center
- 90 spaces added to Lot 21 behind the Southside residence halls
- Additional commuter spaces added along Windemire Ave. after the expansion of Lot 21
- Additional commuter spaces added to the back of Lot 8 behind the Northside residence halls
- Full-time adjunct faculty assigned a designated faculty lot
- Ticketing enforcement hours adjusted to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Grassy lots 23, 24 and 25 resurfaced
- Emergency call boxes ordered to be installed in grassy lots
- Working with City of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Power & Light Company to add more lighting
- Shuttle service extended to the end of October
In an email sent on Oct. 3, Vitangeli said that the university began working on the expansions and resurfacing of Lots 23-26 and they were expected to completed by Oct. 8.
According to an informal survey conducted by The Reflector from Sept. 12-19 with 400 respondents, 69 percent of people thought parking at UIndy had not improved with the changes from the beginning of the semester.
Vitangeli said the university received a variety of feedback ranging from very satisfied to not satisfied, but that it depended on which constituency was asked.
Generally, faculty and staff were very happy with the initial changes, Vitangeli said. 123 faculty and staff responded to The Reflector’s survey and of those 43.1 percent thought parking had improved, 29.3 percent said it had not improved and 27.6 percent were not sure. Assistant Professor of English Kip Robisch was among the faculty the liked the initial changes. He said from the time he first began working at UIndy parking had been difficult to find but this year he has been able to easily find a place to park.
“…It’s the first time I’ve had something positive to say about the parking in four years,” Robisch said. “They designated faculty lots and they put a bunch of visitors spots in them, and now when I come to campus I have not had a problem finding a spot since I’ve come here.…. I love it, it think it’s great and now I feel like I don’t have to complain about the parking everyday because I know I’m going to get a spot.”
According to Vitangeli, commuters made it clear that they needed more parking spaces. There were 154 commuters that responded to The Reflector‘s parking survey and of those 94.8 percent did not think parking improved, many also wrote in that they believed UIndy needed more spaces. 1.3 percent of commuters that responded said that parking had improved and 3.9 percent were not sure. Junior theatre and communication double major Katie Carter is not happy about parking.
“Last year, I maybe had to drive around for 5 minutes, but because there were so many more options behind the library, where the freshmen lot is now,” Carter said. “I was usually able to find one fairly quickly even on the busiest of mornings. Now I allow 15 minutes at least for drive around time to secure a spot.”
Carter said the university is moving in the right direction with the new October changes but they still have not done enough to accommodate commuters. Graduate student Noah Hinkley is also a commuter and said he often struggles to find parking in the paved lots and ends up parking in the gravel or grass lots.
“Surfacing the dirt lots is nice, especially since the gravel and dirt lots wash out and become swamps every time it rains,” Hinkley said. “I’d prefer they surface the gravel lots as well.… I appreciate that they’re adding more street parking and another lot by the stadium for commuters.”
Many commuters, including Carter and Hinkley said that they think lot 2, the freshman only lot, should be given to commuters. Hinkley suggested having the freshman park in the overflow lots, stating that they were lucky to have their cars on campus. Carter also sees a problem with this.
“I don’t think freshmen should have their cars on campus if it means pushing all the upperclassmen to the back and not enough spots to support us and our education,” Carter said. “I see the amount of spots not in use after my Monday night class in the freshmen resident lot and during the day as well. The freshmen residents don’t need that big of a space, because I have never seen it completely full of strictly freshmen cars.”
Vitangeli said the university had been looking at changes and improvements that might be needed since the beginning of the semester. She said after listening to various campus constituents, some changes were needed and she hopes the October changes to parking would make the constituents happier.
“Well I think [we hope to see two tings]. One: Better satisfaction from commuters as we open more space and look at ways across campus that we can continue to expand commuter parking across campus,” Vitangeli said. “And two: With the resurfacing of the grassy lots that people are more content with those lots as we are adding the blue light call boxes and resurfacing them to make them more safe, hopefully people feel better about parking in those areas.”
Vitangeli said she had heard only positive feedback about the October changes. She also emphasized that UIndy appreciates any feedback it is given and it can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article had the incorrect email address for parking feedback. It has since been updated to the correct email.