News 12 at 6 o'clock / August 30, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- We're On Your Side with an update on a story we first reported Wednesday. We told you how some people living near GRU are upset because they say students, including those with campus parking permits are clogging their streets instead of using available campus parking.
After our story aired, we heard from students who say we needed to tell their side of the story. The ones we spoke to say there is not enough parking even in remote campus lots to support the increase in student population this semester, but we obtained numbers from campus police that seem to tell a different story here.
"You can park on the street for free so that's what I have been doing for the past year," says Alex Alzheimer.
Although he parks for free on the street, Alzheimer says some GRU students are frustrated about what they call a major parking problem. "It's mostly the people who have bought decals and then can't find a parking spot that are really ticked off," says Alzheimer.
On Friday much like Wednesday when News 12 first reported on the parking issue, we found quite a few cars with GRU permits parking on streets near the campus. "Early in the morning its really packed and the parking lots fill up really quickly then you have people kind of clogging up the street," says Alzheimer.
Angelo Gill is a GRU student who lives on Mauge Street, about a block from campus. "Every morning it's very crowded and hectic," says Gill. Alzheimer agrees. "I think it's the limited parking from the influx of students from the merger."
On Wednesday we found a parking lot just 4 blocks from campus completely empty. So is it really a parking problem? campus police tell News 12 there are 4,098 parking spaces for students with 3,676 parking permits issued. That leaves 422 available parking spaces.
So if there is available permit parking why don't more students use it?
Alzheimer says he thinks he knows why. "It takes you know 15 minutes to get to class if you are walking from there and that's just another complaint that people have that its just too far away," says Alzheimer. He says it is just more cost efficient and time saving to park on the street.
Meanwhile GRU officials say there are shuttles available for students who wish to purchase a permit and use campus parking.
According to GRU's website, non-reserved parking is $300 per year while reserved parking is $720 bucks per year.