Amy Ballard commutes to the Texas A&M campus everyday. "I finally get to Reed Arena," she said, "and it takes me forever just to find a parking spot. You kind of have to circle around and find one."
"I think the parking situation in general at Texas A&M is much the same as any other major university in that we have far more demand than we have supply of spaces," said A&M Transportation Services Director Rod Weis.
And because of the size of campus and the large student body, it's a difficult task to try and keep Aggies happy. But Weis instituted a new plan for this year. Instead of red and blue passes issued to students, each receives a lot-specific pass. Parking with that pass is only allowed in the assigned lot or at Reed Arena. Students were assigned permits based on seniority.
"We're very, very fortunate here at A&M that our number of parking spaces per student is higher than any other university in the nation," said Weis.
There are around 34,000 parking spaces on campus. Of those, over 29,000 are assigned to faculty, staff and students.
According to Transportation Services, nearly 24,000 students received permits for the 19,000-plus spots. Compare that to faculty/staff spaces, which number nearly 10,000. Only around 9,000 faculty permits were issued for those spots.
The university is considering adding parking garages on the edge of campus. "Really, the only solution I would think of would be more parking spaces," said Ballard. "There's just not enough room and everyone's fighting over just one space."
Another option Transportation Services is looking into would involve altering bus routes to better handle students who park far from their classes.