Parking survey results reveal perception differences

Michael Ford
Managing Editor

   Robert Stark, a professor of agriculture, and six of his students conducted a parking survey during the fall 2004 semester to figure out a way to meet the present and future transportation needs of the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Photo by Michael Ford
On the rocks -- Parking near the Science Center, added a few years ago, cost between $40,000 to $50,000, according to Stark. 

   Although slightly less than 10 percent replied to the survey, the results still provide an idea of what students and faculty think of the parking situation at UAM.

   “There’s definitely a difference between student and faculty perception on parking, as faculty liked it better,” Stark said. Students thought this was because faculty arrives earlier and students arrive at different times of the day.”

   The final results provided a number of statistics, including:

  • 1 percent of students and no faculty considered parking excellent

  • 1 percent of students and 20 percent of faculty considered parking more than adequate

  • 22 percent of students and 40 percent of faculty considered parking adequate

  • 35 percent of students and 28 percent of faculty considered parking less than adequate

  • 9 percent of students and 9 percent of faculty considered parking poor

   Further study by Stark and his students revealed even more data: While the university issued 2,611 parking stickers during the fall 2004 semester, the campus only provided 1,687 parking spaces. Furthermore, 1,732 commuters attended the university last semester, while only being provided with 438 parking spaces.

   “If you look at the patterns, 8 a.m. to noon is the busiest time,” Stark said. “They’re poorly using the buildings in the afternoon, although they still have to be heated and cooled.”

   The students who took part in this project (Jim Barnes, Nolan Beck, Cori Boyd, Justin Matheny, Clay Richeter and Gage Standridge) came to a group conclusion regarding the results: “Re-allocating current color spaces and adding more white and blue spaces better matches the commuter nature of the campus. Changing class schedules uses land and buildings with the most efficient vehicle flow at minimum university expense.”

   Stark and Beck gave a seminar and presented the results to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in November 2004. UAM accepted the invitation as one of only 30 colleges chosen to present.

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The Voice, 2005
Revised 050128 — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_9/parking.htm