As the University of Memphis begins its first semester fully on campus since spring of 2020, students are once again facing the stress of finding a place to park. Recent changes, such as the construction of the Scheidt Family Music Center on the former Central Avenue parking lot, have made the process more challenging.
There are also many students from this semester, as well as the two previous semesters, who are attending in-person classes for the first time and are new to navigating campus traffic and parking lots.
“I’m kind of resigned to it,” said Peter Boyd, a senior who transferred to the university in fall of 2020. “I just end up going to the lot on Southern. I usually find an empty space in the back.”
Finding a place to park close to the main lecture halls and class buildings can be difficult. Especially with temperatures in the mid-90s, as they have been this week, no one wants to end up with a 10-minute walk from their class.
One of the closest options near the south part of campus is the garage on Southern Avenue, which is marked as General Parking, the permit included with tuition. However, some students reported that they were unable to enter the garage last week, and, though marked on the map, the garage does not appear in the list of General Parking locations on the Parking and Transportation Services webpage.
“I’ve parked in there before,” Boyd said. “It’s just sometimes the arm is down and doesn’t raise automatically. I’m not sure what to do there, so I just hightailed it to the lot.”
Angela Floyd, the director of Parking and Transportation Services, said this was due to a computer error.
“Our vendor who performs our automatic downloads to our iParc system that controls the gates received an error when attempting to download all current students for General Parking access to the South Garage,” Floyd said. “It was resolved by Thursday of last week, so most should be able to access it now.”
When asked about the garage missing from the General Parking lot list, Floyd said this was simply an oversight and would be corrected. She apologized for the confusion and said that any student experiencing problems accessing parking can email email@example.com for help.
Though the university offers a grace period during the first week of the semester, parking violations will receive citations, so, to avoid having to pay fines, students should make sure their permits are up to date and they are parking in the proper areas.
The beginning of the semester is already stressful, and knowing the right place to park can at least prevent the headache of coming back to a ticket at the end of the day.