Mixed reviews for pay-to-park plan

By Brittany Hackett
Graphic by Carina Hayes

This fall, Flagler has introduced a new parking policy which forces students to pay for parking, and it is creating mixed reactions from students.

“There’s no way I’m paying the school for parking,” senior Meredith Brace-Sloss said. “Last year’s plan worked fine, as far as I was concerned. If you get to school early, you can usually find good places.”

Brace-Sloss, who lives off campus, says she plans to park at friends’ houses and meter-spots around campus rather than pay for one of Flagler’s new parking plans.

The new plans include paying $200 for a guaranteed spot in the new city-owned parking garage on Castillo Drive, $100 for a non-guaranteed spot in one of the campus lots, or not parking on campus at all.

Many students have already chosen to park at the garage — with almost 600 of 2,100 students signed up for fall, according to Dean of Student Services Daniel Stewart.

Daniel Brady, a junior at Flagler, chose the $100 plan because of the convenience of being able to park in the Lewis parking lot, where he is a resident.

“I’m not going to pay another hundred bucks for a guaranteed spot that’s another six blocks away from the school,” Brady said, adding that he does not think the new plan will solve the limited parking issue at Flagler. “People will still park wherever they want to.”

Kaleen Nora, a junior, lives off campus and purchased one of the guaranteed spots in the new garage so she would always have a place to park during class.

“I just wanted to be on the safe side,” said Nora. “I have mostly afternoon classes, making it hard to find parking.”

The new garage is located near the visitor information center on Castillo Drive. The garage is four stories and has 1,170 spaces. Although the garage is open 24 hours, has security, and a free trolly, Brace-Sloss says safety is a major concern for her.

“My major requires me to stay late on campus, sometimes until midnight,” said the theatre major. “I would never want to walk to the garage at that hour.”

Stewart says he is monitoring student complaints about safety concerns and the college may expand on the city shuttle’s operating hours if it becomes problematic.

The shuttle runs Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a stop near the communication building on Cordova and Hypolita streets.

For more on Flagler’s new parking policy go to www.flagler.edu/parking.

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