Parking changes finalized, commuter spaces cut

Trey Crumbie

After losing approximately 500 parking spaces over the last two years, WKU has finalized the parking changes for next semester.

Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking and Transportation Services, unveiled the parking changes on March 25 during a Student Government Association meeting.

Tougas said the biggest change is that commuter parking passes on the main campus will now be limited. The commuter parking passes will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. 

Tougas said the reason for limiting sales is due to the limited capacity on campus. 

“That’s really a reflection of the fact that because our parking inventory has gone backwards so quickly, if we didn’t do that we would have people with permits looking for parking spaces that don’t exist,” Tougas said in the SGA meeting.

Tougas said she expects commuters who do not get a permit at first to get one by the spring. Sales for commuter passes begin later this month. The passes will remain $90.

Tougas said there will be options for those who don’t get a parking pass immediately. One of these options is a parking pass for the Alumni Square Garage, which will only cost $160, instead of $200, for commuters. 

The Topper Transit routes will also stop at Campus Evolution Villages and the Columns apartment community, according to PTS documents distributed at the meeting. A partnership with GoBG, Bowling Green’s public transit system, has also been established to increase the range of pickup. 

“Hopefully, with those additional transit services, it will be easy for people who live nearby to hop on a bus and get to campus rather than try and get in their car and drive around,” Tougas said.

Tougas said premium parking for housing students will also be available next semester. Premium parking is already available for faculty/staff. A waiting list for premium parking passes will be maintained with the list opening early this month.

Tougas said the housing premium lots will be in the core of campus, such as the Pearce-Ford Tower, Avenue of Champions and Barnes lots, while the non-premium lots will be on the perimeter of campus. 

Housing premium permits will cost $180 while non-premium permits will cost $90, according to the PTS documents.

Multiple parking lots will be rezoned. The South Chestnut Lot will change from Commuter to Housing. Tougas said the change will reduce the number of pedestrians on Chestnut Street, which has been cited as a safety concern. 

The University Boulevard Lot will change from a Housing lot to a Commuter lot. Tougas said the University Boulevard Lot will provide more parking for commuters because it is slightly larger than the South Chestnut Lot and will allow the White Line on the Topper Transit to provide direct transportation to and from classroom buildings on Normal and State streets. 

The Adams Street Lot will change from All Permits to Housing. Tougas said the change will occur due to the opening of the Student Life Foundation apartments on Kentucky Street next fall.

“We’re going to change that zone designation to really reflect the fact that we’re going to have more housing students in the area than we do now,” Tougas said. 

Tougas said PTS considered several perspectives to make parking easier on students for next semester.

“I think we have a good plan,” Tougas said. “I think we’ve made a lot of improvements.”