Parking zones to be reduced

Katherine Martin


Student registration for parking permits for the 2011-2012 academic year will begin on June 27, said Chris D’Esposito, assistant director of transportation services.

In recent years, students registered for permits in March when they registered for classes. However, this created confusion because residence hall assignments were not completed until later, D’Esposito said.

“Delaying registration until June 27 will allow students more accurate and defined locations when registering,” D’Esposito said.

Priority for student parking registration will be based on the dates of class registration for the Fall 2011 semester, giving priority to upperclassmen, he said.

After registering, D’Esposito said students can print temporary permits from the Parking Services website that will be valid for 10 business days to allow the permits to be delivered.

Ben DeBell, a sophomore majoring in forest and wildlife management, said he was confused when he didn’t register for his classes and parking permit at the same time, but just assumed he would register later.

DeBell said that the new process will be helpful because students will not be left wondering where they will be parking, since they will know when they register.

Another change for next year will be the number of parking zones for residential students. Currently, there are a total of seven zones, and next year there will be four, D’Esposito said.

The north residential parking area will all be assigned yellow permits and the south residential parking area will have orange permits, D’Esposito said.

“This will open up more options for students to park closer to their residential community,” he said.

D’Esposito said Parking Services will continue to oversell parking zones, but they are going to reduce the number of permits for the commuter west zone due to congestion in the area this year.

There are no plans to build additional parking lots, D’Esposito said.

“Right now, on any given day, we have thousands of open spaces,” he said. “But chances are it’s not the convenient space you want next to your academic area, your residential area, or your office area, and we realize that. But there are plenty of parking spaces available on campus as it stands right now.”

In addition to these changes, D’Esposito said Parking Services would begin allowing students to register their bicycles. Registration is optional and will help students find their bicycles if they are cut off the racks or have been damaged.

David Sampson, a freshman majoring in computer science, said he rides his bike to class and will ride it even more next year.

Sampson said since registering your bicycle is free, he doesn’t see why anyone wouldn’t register.

“I’m going to lock my bike either way,” Sampson said, “but if it’s going to be more secure that way and it might get returned to me if it’s stolen, then sure.”

D’Esposito also said there are no plans, and have never been plans, not to allow freshmen to bring their cars to campus. Vanderbilt is the only school in the Southeastern Conference that does not allow freshmen to bring their cars.

“We are a society that relies on our vehicles and that would not be a very good selling point to a student to be told you can’t bring your car here, because most teenagers have their own vehicles,” he said.

Ann Elizabeth Stabler, a freshman majoring in elementary education, said she brought her car to the University this year.

“I would have still gone to Alabama because the campus is so big,” Stabler said. “It’s really easy to just catch a ride with somebody else.”