The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Students Question Lack of Parking Input

In a TPAC meeting Oct. 24, Provost Robert Shelton announced his decision to phase out on-campus parking during the next six years for students living in residence halls.

In Wednesday's meeting, student representatives expressed concern that their voices were not heard before a decision was made, said Paul Manos, student government representative to TPAC.

"The general opinion was let the students have a say in it," Manos said.

Student Body President Justin Young said he expressed student concerns and that TPAC members listened, although the decision had already been made without their assistance.

"The committee members were very receptive of it," he said. "The frustrating thing was this decision was made without input from TPAC."

But Assistant Provost Linda Carl, who facilitated the meeting, said the committee members were not frustrated by their role.

"The students certainly felt that way," she said. "(But) I wouldn't say that was the consensus of the (committee) members."

Carl said the committee decided Wednesday to send a recommendation to Shelton stating that residential parking should be phased out over a number of years. "I will definitely go (to Shelton) and make sure the committee represents the recommendation we discussed," Young said.

On-campus night parking also was discussed. Carl said the committee began trying to decide which lots could remain open at night and which could be reserved for permit holders.

Carl said another option was opening some lots at night and charging students for parking. The revenue generated from this would help pay for campus expansion.

"It's basically a revenue issue," Manos said.

Young said restricting night parking will make it difficult for students to return to campus for meetings or studying. He added that bus service is not yet reliable enough to bring students to and from campus. Manos also said students should have access to on-campus night parking.

"They should have free lots open around central campus so students can come to campus and study in the library and stuff," he said.

Young said he was disturbed by the way decisions about parking have been made without student input.

"I think it raises a lot of issues of trust on how decisions are made on this campus," he said. "I want to make heard to the administration that this isn't something students will take quietly.

"Regarding Qatar and regarding parking and regarding tuition increases, it's important to acknowledge that the student voice is important and to ignore it is a very big mistake."

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