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Parking facilities move cars farther from campus

Aug. 23, 2004

By STEPHANIE FRANKS, editor in chief

As students move in and classes start, students and faculty will find themselves walking more than usual. Throughout June and July, 420 parking spots were removed from the interior of campus while 2,380 parking spaces were added including the Dutton Office and Parking Facility which was completed in 2003 and the East Campus Parking Facility finished this summer.

Rick Creel, associate vice president of operations and facilities, said the parking adjustments serve safety and aesthetic purposes.

"We engaged the services of Parking and Traffic Engineers to complete a comprehensive parking and circulation study," Creel said. "They observed various campus traffic patterns, counting student, faculty and visitor vehicles, and basically said to us, 'if you don't relocate parking to the perimeter of your campus, reducing interior traffic, someone could be injured.' "

Parking and traffic engineers also recommended that the East Campus Parking Facility open in conjunction with the new Baylor Sciences Building.

A traffic light has been installed on the corner of Bagby and Speight to serve pedestrians and maintain traffic. Intermittently, all car traffic will be stopped by red lights so that pedestrians may cross.

"If this doesn't prove to be satisfactory, then we will adjust the programmable light as necessary, for further protection of pedestrians," Creel said.

Video surveillance systems, parking counters, emergency phones on every floor and a security depot have been installed in the new East Campus Parking facility as well. A parking counter was added to the Speight Plaza facility in Fall 2003.

The City of Waco approved the abandonment of Cottonwood street located between 2nd and 3rd street in August. According to Creel, Baylor will use this area as a 'green space buffer' between the parking facility and the Baylor Plaza apartments.

"We're trying to be more sensitive to the needs of students and faculty, but we want to be safe as well," Creel said.

The original appropriation for the East Campus Parking facility was $9,994,000 but the ending project expenditure is $9,207,000 with a projected savings of about $787,000.

Bus routes

The parking reconstruction also serves Imperative VIII of Baylor 2012 which is states, "Construct useful and aesthetically pleasing physical spaces."

"Interior parking lots on campus also inhibit the cohesiveness of community," Creel said.

According to Creel, Baylor University Development looked at many college campus models for ideas into campus beautification.

The quadrangle model for the space between North and South Russell was patterned after Oxford University in England.

"It creates great community and absolves a lot of security issues," Creel said.

The removal of interior parking includes 198 faculty and staff parking spaces, but, according to Creel, 337 were added: 45 to Fifth Street parking facility, 200 are reserved in East Campus, 65 were added to Dutton Parking facility, and 27 in various places.

The number of handicapped spots near the Baylor Sciences Building was increased by 10, also.

"Baylor is in a more favorable position than comparable schools, as far as parking spaces-to-student ratios and traffic circulation are concerned," Creel said. "If someone has an issue they feel has not been addressed yet, I welcome an email at: Rick_Creel@baylor.edu."