By: Chris Awuah
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – If you have to drive a car onto the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s campus you will quickly find out that parking here at the university is rare unless you own a reserved decal. With UTC’s student body and faculty rising by the years parking spaces on the campus haven’t been able to keep up.
Students that attend UTC feel as if this may be the biggest downfall for the university, but the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is not the only school that are having these parking problems. Facts have shown that people are enrolling into Universities more than ever before to improve on their education.
Universities in the greater Atlanta area are facing the same exact problems that students are facing here in Chattanooga. According to Marquita Armstead, Georgia Tech located in downtown Atlanta has a student population of about 12,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff. The university has a total of 9,988 parking spaces to accommodate those who attend the school on a daily basis. Armstead joined the universities staff just last year but quickly realized that some kind of policies must be implemented or issues will continue to grow.
“Georgia Tech is very similar to Chattanooga when it comes to parking. If you park somewhere your not suppose to you get a ticket. If you park on the street for too long you get a ticket,” said Armstead.
City Universities vs Rural Universities
Universities in the city are more likely to have parking issues compared tho those who are in areas with more free land. Schools in the city are forced to build upward instead of outward to reduce the amount of space being used.
The ticket business has been a decent part of UTC’s yearly revenue and with the ratio of cars to parking spaces getting larger it will only be generating more revenue in the future.
With the high demand for parking but only limited spaces to find, students have found ways to manipulate UTC’s parking service officials to help them get the parking spot they need to get to the places on campus they need to be. Many students have been reusing previously written tickets given to them to make it seem as if they have already been ticketed for the parking violation.
After hearing what some students had been doing throughout the semester, Kadeem Wise a senior at UTC felt the idea was cleaver but would soon be cracked.
“After 60 plus dollars in parking violations just this semester alone, I should’ve maybe tried it to see how much money I could’ve saved,” said Wise.
The last recorded student and faculty enrollment at UTC was around 11,600. According to a parking official, UTC currently has 5,194 parking spots (General, Reserved, Guest) for those who commute to the university grounds. Students believe UTC should began to build upward for the near future, because the university enrollment will only increase as time goes.
For students who continue to struggle with parking, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has additional parking less then a mile from campus at Engel Stadium with a free shuttle to and from campus.