Parking has become an issue on college and university campuses with increasing enrollment at places like Wayne State College.
A couple weeks back a resident of Wayne wasn’t pleased with students parking on a public street where he lived. He said he found it an inconvenience to have students’ cars parked through the street. WSC students find parking issues inevitable, though, as they say parking at WSC isn’t always the best.
“Yes, it’s a big issue because when you arrive at any hour you can’t find a parking lot,” WSC student Luna Sierra said. “Also, it’s unfair that we have to pay for a parking lot, but we have to park in the streets instead.”
The Wayne State College website mentions under parking space availability that purchasing a parking permit doesn’t ensure parking availability in a lot or near a facility. The largest parking lot located on campus is lot 10.
Parking issues do not just occur at WSC though, parking is a problem at other colleges around Nebraska like Midland University and Peru State College. It even happens at large universities.
“Regardless of school, parking is a challenge. Nobody can park in front row always,” Tim Robertson, Peru State College security supervisor, said. “It doesn’t matter if the school’s as big as the University of Nebraska-Omaha or even as small as Peru or Wayne.”
There aren’t many changes that can be made to avoid the parking crisis on campuses around Nebraska besides expanding parking lots. Even expanding the lots will not assure availability to students when they arrive at peak hours. Often, students or even faculty want to be nearby the facilities they work or study in, but it’s not always possible.
Midland University in Fremont, like WSC, has parking codes for their students and faculty; they use colors rather than letters on their permits. Midland University, like WSC, has received complaints about students parking in front of houses.
“We’ve had a person that has complained, but it’s a public street and we can’t enforce anything,” Robertson said. “Students or faculty don’t break any law by parking there. The person that did complain put a sign up, but it’s just not enforceable.”
The City of Wayne has had discussions in the past about parking at WSC when issues were brought up. “They were concerned that vehicles would park on the nearby streets and may be left for days as they would be closer to the dorms instead of parking in the parking lots if the parking regulations were removed from the streets,” Wayne Chief of Police Marlen Chinn said.
Many streets near the campus have hourly parking regulations. This has helped resolve some issues, but complaints continue. “We do get parking complaints in the area around the campus and throughout the city,” Chinn said. “Most of which are blocking the crosswalks, sidewalks, driveways, or being too close to the intersections, wrong side to curb or they are left overnight in a restricted area.”
Some students believe an easy parking fix at WSC would be building a new parking lot for commuters or students living on-campus.
“It’s a huge issue, they definitely need to add another lot and make it commuters only, that way on-campus people have lot 10, then commuters would have their own as well,” WSC student Erma Krysl said.
“I think one way they could fix it is to add another parking lot in the field behind Bowen,” WSC student Stacie Anderson said.
Additional parking at the time isn’t set in stone, but WSC has begun looking into it.
“We are doing a parking study right now and looking at availability, hopefully we can add some parking but we don’t know what that looks like,” Campus Security Manager Jason Mrsny said. “We are looking at a way to strategically place another parking lot.”
Parking far from a facility one might have to get to seems inconvenient, but there are usually parking spots available. “Lots number one and number 10 are full most times,” Mrsny said. “Lot number four is approximately 10 percent full, with much parking availability. Commuters can also park on the west and north side of the Rec Center. Lots number 1, 2 and 3 provide commuter parking too.”
Having students or faculty parking in public streets might stay bothersome for residents of Wayne, but there is no law or regulation against it. Unless there are signs that are enforced by the city police, nothing can currently be done about this problem.