The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    More parking, traffic changes planned

    Driving on campus will be a new experience next year. New parking policies are planned to take effect, including a new designated parking system for students and an exclusive gated parking lot for faculty and staff. Also, Malfunction Junction will see its demise, as plans are to completely remove it by next semester.
    Ray Hayes, vice president of finance and administration, said that the plan is to create designated parking zones for commuting students on lots located on the outer edges of campus.
    “Students will have a parking decal for a designated area, where they will be able to park for the duration of the year.” Hayes said. “Students will be able to choose what area they want to park in, but upperclassmen will have the first choice.”
    The new parking policy comes with a price. Next semester, the cost of a parking decal will rise from $25 to $50.
    Hayes said that the reason for raising the price of decals was due to budget cuts to the parking program.
    “Less and less has been able to be done with parking,” Hayes said, “but most large universities have a well-funded program.”
    “All of the money collected from decals and parking tickets goes into the university general fund,” said Paul Welch, director of support services for MSU. “We’re trying to work out a program so that the revenue generated [from parking costs] goes directly to support the construction and maintenance of roads and parking lots.”
    Hayes said that $50 may seem like a lot of money to pay for a decal, but some universities charge up to $250 a semester for parking.
    Welch said that a consultant from Georgia Tech was hired to analyze the costs of maintaining the campus lots. Results found that it costs $29 a year to maintain one parking space, and with the current price of a decal, that isn’t enough.
    “We’ve been charging $25 for a decal which isn’t enough to maintain the lots,” Welch said.
    “We’re using this opportunity to upgrade parking lots,” Hayes said.
    Ann Elizabeth Harrell, a junior majoring in communication, is a commuter student.
    “I drive everyday. The new cost [for decals] makes me cringe,” she said.
    Harrell said she gets to school at 7 a.m. every morning to get the parking spot she wants, so she hopes the new parking system will work.
    Matthew Skyles, a senior majoring in business management said he drives everyday also, and sometimes he has problems with parking.
    “If [the new parking system] is planned carefully, I think it will work out well.” he said.
    Skyles also said that the price of fifty dollars was cheap compared to most other universities, so he wouldn’t have a problem paying the extra money.
    Students won’t be the only drivers on campus to see new parking next semester.
    Faculty and staff will have an opportunity to park in a new gated lot, which they will have to pay $10 a month to park in. The lot will be exclusively for faculty and staff.
    Another big change on campus will be the deconstruction of the infamous Five Points, aptly named “Malfunction Junction,” next to the football stadium.
    “What we’re trying to do is simplify [Five Points],” Hayes said.
    The intersection has already been altered several times, but officials hope to eliminate traffic congestion there.
    Creelman Street, which runs in front of Dorman Hall and McCarthy Gym, was moved last year. Plans call for it to be shifted, again, closer to Dorman and away from Five Points. Lee Boulevard, which runs in front of The Union and Hull Hall, to end at the stadium. Stone Boulevard, which runs from Blackjack Road between Dorman and Herzer, will curve to merge with Russell Street and cross Highway 12 near Comfort Suites. Plans also call for a new street through Sorority Row.
    “[Malfunction Junction] is crazy,” Skyles said. “Fixing it will help with a lot of traffic problems.”
    The new road setup will help with the new commuter parking policy, Hayes said.
    The parking plan and the reconstruction of the Five Points both tie in to the master plan. The master plan states that there will be one loop road around campus to keep traffic towards the outside of campus and make the central part of campus more pedestrian-friendly. The end result of the parking and road plans will probably not be seen for a few years.

    Leave a Comment
    Donate to The Reflector

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Reflector

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    More parking, traffic changes planned