BSU students can't find parking spots, new lots planned

Record enrollment is making it hard for students to find parking on campus.

BOISE - Parking at Boise State is creating problems for some students.

“Parking is something we deal with every single year, and of course when the university is growing as fast as it is, it's always kind of a work in progress,” BSU spokesman Greg Hahn said.

Most parking at BSU requires a permit. The price of those range depending on the location and some can set students back hundreds of dollars. Like Chris Dorman who paid more than $300 for his permit.

"You pay so much to have a spot and frequently there's not a spot there, or it's very difficult to find the spots,” Dorman said.

Dorman said he’s had this problem every school year, but even more so this semester. Construction for the new Fine Arts Building has taken away some parking spaces. BSU said that’s between 250 and 300 spots gone. But they said there are still some spaces in that area and others around campus.

"They're working on other spots here. You can see there's still some spaces out down here. Not a ton, but I think it depends on where you kind of got used to parking too,” Hahn said. “Both of the garages…and we have a little bit of space kind of tucked around campus, but they're working on freeing up some more permits."

"It pushed a lot of us [that], normally we park in that parking lot, back into the garages,” Dorman said. “So like the Brady Garage filled up pretty quick and people started coming over to the Lincoln Garage."

And that’s just students. Throw in an event on campus like a football game or a concert.

"Obviously on a weekday game day, right on a Thursday or a Friday, it's going to be a zoo on campus. It's going to be hard to park if you have class,” Hahn said. "They're always trying to stay ahead and make sure people have options."

Boise State does send out an email to students who have a parking permit and might be impacted by an event. That email lets them know where they should park instead. However, some students say it’s not always effective.

"That's not going to come out until the lot is already considered full, so if you're already on your way to school you may not have any information that that's going to happen until you're already down here and you don't know where to go,” Dorman said.

That confusion means students have trouble planning. They say if they weren’t expecting to have to park farther away from their class than normal, they might be late to class.

"There's frequently classes where if you're having a test or a quiz or something they're not going to let you come in late,” Dorman said. “Or other classes have a time period where if you show up after a certain period you're deemed absent so you lose credit for being there that day."

Boise State is working to address the parking issue. Hahn says the school tries to encourage students who live on campus to not bring a car. They also push students to ride bikes and use the free shuttle service to get around campus.

In addition to that, BSU has parking lots planned. One of those is part of the master plan: a new parking garage across the street from Albertsons Stadium. There is not timeline for that project yet, but the school is already working on new parking lots.

"We're building three new lots right over here between Beacon and Belmont that should open spaces up as well,” Hahn said.

Those projects are expected to be finished this semester. The school also opened three satellite lots that are located near shuttle stops.

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