UT parking permit does not guarantee parking spots

Bobby Blanchard

Andrea Wagner does not normally drive to campus. When she does, she usually regrets it.

Wagner, a social work junior, has a class C parking permit and is one of many students competing for the limited number of parking spaces on campus each day. The class C parking permit does not guarantee a parking spot, but it allows students to park in C lots and Longhorn Lots, which are large parking lots dotted throughout campus.

Wagner normally takes the bus, but one day in early October she had to go to her internship right after class. She thought it would be quicker to drive and park in a C lot. She arrived at 10 a.m., a time she thought was early enough to make her 10:30 a.m. class.

“The entire C lot was filled, and other people were driving around and stalking people as they walked to their car,” Wagner said. “It was getting close to my class time, so I decided to go to the Longhorn Lot.”

When Wagner arrived at the Longhorn Lot, she saw it was closed due to an event. She kept searching for parking.

“I went to every C lot, and they were all completely filled up,” Wagner said. “I was really frustrated, because I was missing a class I had to go to.”

By the time Wagner got to class, it was more than halfway finished.

“I am already trying to do everything I can in the hours of the day, and I do not need to waste time driving around the campus looking for a parking spot,” Wagner said.

Parking in C lots is not guaranteed by UT’s Parking and Transportation services, which Wagner said is a problem.

“I guess they have it in their mindset that not everyone that has a permit is going to be parking at the same time,” Wagner said. “But most people with permits are going between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when they have class.”

Wagner said because of her experience, she does not plan to drive to campus for the rest of the semester.

From 2010 to 2011, there were 887 C lot parking spaces and 1,960 Longhorn Lot spaces. There were 5,361 C parking permits sold in the 2010-2011 school year, but Jeri Baker, assistant director of Parking and Transportation Services, said UT has not had a day in the past 10 years when C permit holders have not had a place to park.

“If everyday I filled up every single space that we had, I would tell you we sold too many permits, but that does not happen,” Baker said. 

— Additional reporting by Megan Strickland

Printed on Friday, October 26, 2012 as: Students relate stories of despair, offer advice