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The Edge solves parking, USA to gate Stanky Field

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Students who choose to live at The Edge will need to keep a close eye on the parking situation at the brand-new apartment facility that opens in the fall. Students and administration members were concerned during the spring semester amid rumors that The Edge would not facilitate enough parking. The original plan is said to have had only 300 parking places for 500 possible residents. The Edge says that isn’t the case now.
“Development is planning for enough parking,” community manager Mary Rutherford told The Vanguard.
Rutherford did not provide an exact figure when asked. The parking areas are not yet complete and much of the complex is still under construction. In the past academic year, concerns about parking in local apartment complexes have grown. Campus Quarters opened last year and did not provide adequate guest parking, leading to an overflow into the UCOM parking lot across from the facility on University Blvd. Between the uncertainty of the parking situation with The Edge and the danger of students crossing University Blvd. at night, USA officials have decided to act.
Edge residents “will not be allowed to park on campus,” USAPD Chief Zeke Aull said in an interview with The Vanguard. “We are going to erect gates to Stanky Field that close after a specified time.” Aull says that time will likely be 11 p.m. Vehicles parked in that lot will be towed after that time. It won’t just be Stanky Field’s lot that will be placed under new restrictions.
“We’re going to have a closing time for all lots,” Aull said. He especially worries about students coming across the street on Old Shell from The Edge when it opens on top of the ongoing issue with Campus Quarters. “By allowing the possibility of someone getting hurt, we are being an enabler.” Aull says that he supports JagTran access to the local apartment complexes to alleviate the dangerous pedestrian traffic and says that’s in the works with transportation and other USA officials. “We have to be good neighbors, and we encourage communication,” said Aull. The gates are currently undergoing a bid process, according to Dean of Students Dr. Mitchell.
“We’re working on a design concept that won’t be a typical gate. We want it to be functional and attractive on that side of the University,” Mitchell said of the future Stanky Field gates. He also recognized that even though South is growing and complexes are moving in, that there is an inherent safety problem by allowing people to park at USA overnight. “Parking in our lots is just not an option,” said Mitchell. As far as The Edge goes, Mitchell says USA officials met with The Edge and learned that they are now planning at least 550 parking spots. “We will be posting that lots close at certain times and are subject to towing,” he added regarding spaces on campus. Mitchell also believes the efforts will keep campus safer. “This is going to let us know when we have people here late at night,” Mitchell said. When asked what his advice is to students that are concerned about parking at one of local complexes, he says to talk to the complex personally and ask what the plans are. He’s also optimistic about the growth surrounding the University. “This isn’t a sleepy, non-traditional campus anymore. The structure is growing,” he said. With growth, there must be an increased awareness of safety. “There is a voice inside all of us that warns us about dangerous situations. Listen to that voice. Be smart and be careful,” Mitchell said.

Written by Cassie Fambro | Contributing Writer

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