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Faculty raise parking concerns

Nov. 18, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University's chief of police and head of public safety said he is taking recommendations from members of the Faculty Senate's Executive Committee about parking.

Jim Terry fielded questions from the committee and the full Faculty Senate on Thursday afternoon about the loss of 150 faculty parking spaces along 3rd Avenue where construction on the new engineering complex recently started.

In response, Terry said he is going to replace some of the handicapped parking spaces by putting them in the general lot on the north side of Commerce Avenue.

He also is going to inquire about adding a temporary light and crosswalk along 3rd Avenue. There was one in front of Morrow Library, but it now leads to nowhere because that portion on the north side of 3rd Avenue is fenced off for construction. He said he has a meeting with Division of Highways officials to discuss the matter.

"For more than two years, we've been planning for the relocation of parking spaces that will be lost due to the construction of the Weisberg Engineering Complex," Terry said in a release back in October before closure of lots on Oct. 19. "That's why we built the 6th Avenue Parking Facility before this construction begins."

In addition to the 150 faculty/staff spaces lost from the lots between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, the first five rows of spaces at the east end of the general lot on the north side of Commerce Avenue -- formerly home to Weiler Steel -- will be used for staging during construction, leaving 250 spots open on that lot.

Some faculty members expressed their displeasure of losing the parking spots, though Terry said there are other exterior lots, particularly at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, that are almost always available. He even said he will look into a small shuttle bus that would make stops in front of Old Main and at the stadium.

He also reminded them they can turn in their parking pass at any time for a prorated refund and then park in the new pay-per-space parking garage that opened in August on 6th Avenue and John Marshall Drive. Employees also have an option of paying $40 a month for a 6th Avenue garage permit or upgrade to the 3rd Avenue garage.

He also reiterated a point listed under the "Frequently Asked Questions" section on Office of Parking & Transportation website: The site states that "purchasing a parking permit does not guarantee a convenient parking spot. If your lot is full go to the next lot that is marked for your assigned permit."