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UAH considering changes to on-campus parking

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's an issue every college faces at one point or another - providing enough parking spots for their students.

UAH administrators stress the number of parking spots available on campus is not the issue, it's where and how students and faculty use them.

UAH Senior Jennifer Wright said it's a battle every day to get a parking spot remotely close to her classes.

“It’s hard to find a place,” said Wright.

It's common to see cars circling lots like vultures, sniffing out an open spot near their building.

"The library for instance is one of the hardest places to get a parking space," says Wright.

UAH administrators acknowledge, it's a problem.

“We’ve grown from 7,200 students 2 years ago, to 8,500 today and were looking at maybe 10,000 students in 2 years,” says Ray Garner, a spokesman for the university.

Garner says they know it will only get worse, as the institution grows, so the university is taking action, in the hopes that one day, parking problems here on the campus of UAH, will be a reflection of the past.

So they hired a consulting group from Birmingham to assess parking practices around campus.

“They’ve done some research, they’ve looked at the patterns and trends of parking and driving on campus and so they’ve given us the results of their research," said Garner.

The consulting group now recommends that UAH adopt "Zone Parking." It works exactly how it sounds.

“The parking that’s around residence halls is going to be reserved for those who live on campus and then there will be some mixed zones in some parking lots as well," said Garner.

The details are still being sorted out, but each lot will be assigned to a different classification, like residential, commuter and staff.

“We have adequate spaces for the time being, we need to manage it better," said Garner.

Wright thinks it's a step in the right direction, because any move at this point is better than the status quo.

"Either come early or come in when a bunch of people you know are leaving," she recommended.

According to Garner, UAH is one of the last universities in Alabama to switch over to a Zone Parking system.

The University is now holding focus groups for the rest of the spring, but if you would still like to weigh in on this new proposal, you can email

parkingzones@uah.edu.

We're told all comments will be saved for administrators to review at the end of the Spring semester.

The idea would be for these changes to be implemented next Fall.