Tarleton parking undergoes changes

Francisco Castro, Contributor

As the Fall 2018 semester kicks off, so do new changes on the Tarleton State University Stephenville campus. One of the new changes made is the relabeling of the parking lots found around campus.

“Every year (Police and Parking) have to try and balance what the needs are versus the needs of the facilities and the students,” said Matt Welch, Chief of Police for Tarleton Police Department.

One change that has been implemented on parking is the introduction of a new type of lot. This new lot allows for designated members of the Tarleton Family to have 24-hour access to parking while allowing Tarleton Police to easily enforce the lots as such.

“By the residence halls, there was a few slots for the RL’s and RC’s; people who worked in the building and lived in the building all the time,” Welch said. “Five (spots) by Legends and five by Centennial, it’s hard to (enforce) those. So what we did was, while not as convenient for them, we tried to find some new lots just for them. We called them Silver Lots.”

Welch explained that the new lots not only served as 24-hour access for residence hall staff, but for families living in on-campus apartments.

“(Silver Lots) are for people who work and live in a residence hall, for visitors with a visitor pass, or for people who are married with kids who live on campus,” Welch explained.

These new lots include P4 behind Hunewell Hall, P22 West behind Centennial Hall, P32 at Venture Apartments, P43 besides University Village, and P45 South besides Traditions South. Regarding Purple Commuter Lots, changes made included converting P20 North and South besides Memorial Stadium to Purple Lots.

“We try to group the purple parking in larger chunks because you don’t want to go to a little lot all the time trying to find (parking),” Welch said. “You want to drive in, park, and go to class. So you have two major areas to look and it’s better.”

One of the other benefits of converting P20 to a Purple Lot is that it is easier to close before a sporting event. Welch added that since commuters naturally leave after their classes, clearing P20 for a sporting event can be done easier since commuters do not need to have a spot at that time.

Another lot that has been converted is P9 across from The Welcome Center. P9, while originally Residential and All Access, has been instead converted to Residential and Commuter. According to Welch, P9 Green Lot was often used by Tarleton faculty and staff, despite having ample parking in Blue staff lots. Converting P9 into a commuter lot not only allows for more parking options for students, but also ensures that there are enough parking spaces for all.

“Parking is always supply-and-demand” said Welch. “(Tarleton PD) doesn’t buy the lots…but we just try to administer what we have, and we try to do it fairly. If you are a residential student, it’s like working from home. Your car’s in the garage. If you are a commuter, your going to work. You are just there for those few hours. A lot of commuters try to get their classes Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday. They are here for certain days. They are here less frequently. So, you have more spaces for the residential because their cars are here all the time.”

It is from this viewpoint that Red Residential lots changes include lots P33 at University Village, P35 and P47 across from Bosque Crossing Apartments, P40 across from the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex and P44 across from Venture Apartments being converted to Red Lots.

While the new changes may seem difficult to remember, students are encouraged to refer to the Tarleton Parking website to view a map of all the parking spots. Chief Welch asks that commuters utilize the shuttle services provided by Tarleton Police and Parking. Shuttle times and locations can be found on the Tarleton Parking website.