By: Matthew Bender, Contributing Writer
Photo by Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
With Towson’s student body increasing and the parking garages on campus receiving more use, SGA President James Mileo and SGA Vice President Breya Johnson sent a request to the University to have electric parking counters installed in Towson’s parking garages.
Towson University originally denied the SGA’s request to add electric parking counters into parking garages around campus, but is now reconsidering the possibility of adding them on campus.
“At the request of the Interim VP for Finance, Bob Campbell, we are relooking at counters and pulling together some cost estimates for various types as well as considering a webinar to learn more,” Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services Daniel Slattery said in an email.
Electric parking counters use sensors under each individual parking spot to monitor whether parking spots are occupied or open. Garages that have these parking counters display the number of spots open on each garage floor based on readings from the sensors to help people find parking spots.
At the Student Fees Open Forum on Feb. 8, Slattery said the University is looking into adding parking counters to the University’s parking garages.
“As you know, auxiliaries are self-supporting,” Slattery said. “We don’t get any money from the state on this, so it must come out of the parking fees charged to students, faculty and staff to support the operation. As for the driving around and looking for parking, we are currently looking into the electronic counters to aid and assist everyone looking for spaces.”
Director of Parking and Transportation Services Pamela Mooney said the University is considering establishing parking counters, but that nothing has been finalized.
“As Mr. Slattery indicated at the meeting, we are again looking at counter systems,” Mooney said. “At this point, we are only gathering the latest information and there has been no decision on whether or not to purchase a system.”
Some students around campus support the possible implementation of parking counters in garages.
Adrian Bell, a commuter student, said she hopes the University moves forward with installing the electronic parking counters.
“I live in West Village and drive to York [Road Building] everyday and go floor to floor looking for a free spot,” Bell said. “It’s really annoying blindly driving around the garage hoping to find a place to park. Having parking counters would save me so much time.”
Towson student Jerry Smith also sees the benefit of adding counters to on-campus parking garages.
“I don’t have a car on campus but I can see how it would save a lot of time for student drivers,” Smith said. “I hope Towson finds a compromise and adds these to the garages.”
– Sophia Bates contributed to this story.