Afternoon Classes Open Up Parking on Campus
Overcrowding prompted UA officials to schedule more classes, many of which begin in the afternoon, according to a registrars’ office official.
“Some kids may have afternoon classes but don’t have evening classes,” said Andy Gilbride, parking and transit representative.
The UA effort to spread classes more evenly throughout the day will ease car and foot traffic, Gilbride said.
“Everybody had their classes from 7 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Now, they’re spread out from 7 a.m. to later in the evening,” he said.
In the 2008 fall semester, 54.86 percent of students were enrolled in morning classes and 45.14 percent in the afternoon, according to the registrar’s office.
The numbers have shifted since then: 51.37 percent of students now take morning classes, and 48.63 percent take afternoon classes.
Students took a total of 39,792 afternoon classes in fall 2008; this semester, students are enrolled in a total of 52,165 afternoon classes.
This semester, in an effort to free up parking, the UA offers nearly 55 percent of classes in the afternoon.
“[Lot 46] never filled for classes. Well, two years ago it came really close,” said Gary Smith, UA director of parking. “So we were really concerned. Then last year it didn’t come close.”
The surge of freshmen this year has filled parking lots to near-capacity, Gilbride said.
“We do have a few open spaces, about 100 compared to hundreds in the past,” he said.
Increased use of UA buses has also eased stress on parking lots, Gilbride said. The department plans to buy four new buses by next year to compete with demand.
“Everybody’s got their routine now and a lot of people live on a bus route,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to ride the buses than to park.”
“The students on campus need a place to park, so we will definitely be expanding parking as we’re able to. We just finished the Garland [Garage] last year, so we’re ahead of schedule,” Gilbride said.