August 15, 2008

Thressea Boyd
Director of Communications

University Works with City to Decrease Parking on NeighborhoodStreets

VALDOSTA - Ask college students to name one of their biggest annoyances and many of them will agree it is the lack of convenient parking.

Parking issues have been a major concern for Valdosta State University, especially within the surrounding neighborhoods. In recent years, the growth of the university has resulted in increased parking needs. To address this critical issue, university officials have partnered with the City of Valdosta to offer long-term solutions to decrease the number of vehicles parking in neighborhoods and city streets adjacent to the campus.

In 2005, the Valdosta City Council considered reducing the allotted parking times on streets surrounding the campus. However, the council agreed to postpone the changes until VSU completed a parking study. The parking study confirmed the university’s master plan recommendation to construct two multi-level parking decks on main campus.

With the parking decks now open, city officials are moving forward with their plan to implement a time change that prohibits parking on streets adjacent to the university, including streets east of Patterson, and Sustella, Azalea, Iola, Mary and Alden. The City Council approved at their Aug. 7 meeting to prohibit parking on designated streets from 1 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., effective Aug. 18 when students return to campus for fall semester.

The city and university are working together to inform students of the change by placing informational fliers on the windshield of vehicles parked on the designated streets.

“VSU Parking and Transportation personnel will be visible in the neighborhoods to inform students of the changes to the parking time,” said Rob Kellner, director of Auxiliary Services. “We greatly appreciate the city allowing us time to build the parking decks, these two facilities increase the university’s parking inventory by 33 percent and provide a convenient and safe place to park.”

City Engineer Von Shipman believes this simple change will result in students obtaining parking permits to park on-campus thus eliminating a lot of traffic in the neighborhoods, which is good for the community.

“The City of Valdosta is pleased with the new parking opportunities available for VSU students, which will assist in alleviating parking congestion in the residential neighborhoods adjacent to the university,” said City Manager Larry Hanson. “We commend VSU and the community partnerships that were instrumental in providing the additional parking, while also respecting the needs of the neighborhood residents.”

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