Whether it be finding a place to park or knowing what bus to hop on, questions about campus travel are ones Texas Tech Transportation and Parking Services work to answer.
As students get ready for their first day back from winter break, taking time to understand campus parking and travel rules may be necessary to avoid issues such as being late to class or parking citations.
Understanding where one can and cannot park could be a difficult task for some students, new or old.
Brian Brand, assistant director at Tech Transportation and Parking Services, said there are R, Z and commuter lots on campus.
“Your R lots are faculty and staff, and then your Z lots are your residence hall lots, and those are reserved for the folks who live in the residence halls 24 hours a day,” he said.
Information regarding the Commuter North, West and Satellite lots can be found on the Tech TPS website.
In addition to the current parking lots, students can expect changes to parking as well.
The C10 lot behind the Horticulture Gardens and Greenhouse Complex, located at the intersection of Hartford Avenue and Main Street, will later receive additional parking, Brand said. Work on the lots may start around spring break.
“That’s basically going to be parking that’s going to be added that replaces what was taken away by the Womble,” he said. “So, we’re going to gain some space out there back that we lost originally.”
A completed roadway project can be seen at the old campus entrance at 15th Street and University Avenue, Brand said. There is no longer through traffic in that area.
“We finally finalized the R13 lot, which is a faculty and staff lot, the one off of 15th Street and University,” he said regarding why the area was reconstructed.
Along with construction projects, people on campus can expect a change in parking during men’s basketball games at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Starting on Jan. 18, all parking at the Tech Recreational Center will now be used for game days, Brand said. Because of the traffic in the area, parking for the Rec Center will be moved to the R18 parking lot southeast of the Physical Plant, which is near the intersection of Flint Avenue and Main Street.
Two hours prior to a men’s basketball game, that parking lot will start opening up for students going to the Rec, Brand said. A parking attendant will be present to direct people to the gameday Rec Center parking lot.
“It will be easy to get out, it will be easy to get in,” he said. “They don’t have to get into all this traffic, and there’s quite a few more spaces.”
With the current and new parking rules, some students may worry about parking in the incorrect lot because of the possibility of a citation, towing or vehicle immobilization device.
For immobilization devices, Brand said TPS is using boots, which latch onto a vehicle’s tire, and barnacles, which are blocks that stick on and cover a vehicle’s windshield.
Brand said TPS will tow under certain circumstances, such as a driver that has six or more outstanding citations, someone with a 60-day overdue citation, receiving eleven or more citations, parking in fire lanes, ADA parking or causing other safety hazards and parking in a reserved space.
Regardless of which situation, knowing how to pay a citation or retrieve a towed vehicle may seem difficult to some.
Although, Brand said paying a citation does not have to involve a trip to the TPS office, which is located at 407 Flint Ave. in the Administrative Support Center Room 145.
“If a student’s vehicle gets towed on campus or they have a boot or immobilization device, used to, they would have to come over here for sure and make that payment in person, over here, to have their vehicle released,” he said. “We now have it where they can, through the website online, they can pay their citations and the boot fee or the tow fee online.”
One can go to the Tech TPS website and click on the “My Parking” tab to pay their citation, boot fee or tow fee.
But, if the vehicle is towed, Brand said people will have to come over to the office to obtain the vehicle, even if they paid the fee online. For boot removals, TPS staff can come to the vehicle and remove the boot.
Understanding when one can drive through the center of campus is another factor individuals may need to consider.
Brandon Richard, TPS media relations coordinator, said during the weekdays, one needs to consider the entry stations placed in different part of the campus. From 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., students are not allowed past the entry stations into the center of campus.
“The entry station attendant will kindly let them know they are not allowed access,” he said. “Because there’s just way too much foot traffic.”
Not letting students drive past the entry stations during the day acts as a safety precaution, Richard said.
For those who do not have their own vehicle, one may utilize other campus transportation options.
Neil Kilcrease, assistant director at TPS, said the bus routes will remain the same this semester. There are three on-campus routes, which are Masked Rider, the Red Raider and Double T, and seven off-campus routes.
For information on specific stops for each route, one can visit the Tech TPS website in the “Busing” section under the “Information For” tab.
For information on other travel options, such as Lime scooters and e-bikes, Zipcar, a car-sharing service, and Raider Ride, a night shuttle service, visit the TPS website under “Mobility Solutions.”
For Lime, Kilcrease said people are able to park scooters and e-bikes at 13 designated parking areas. Although, one needs to consider the zone that extends from the SUB to the Administration building over the R7 parking lot.
“This semester, what they might see new with the Limes is the dismount zone by the library and SUB is now going to become a non-operational zone for those scooters,” he said. “When they enter that zone, that scooter’s going to shut down. It won’t lock the wheel, but it will go down to zero miles an hour, and they will have to walk it through there because that is a dismount zone.”
Riders cannot end the ride when they are in this zone, Kilcrease said. A student would have to go to a bike rack or designated Lime parking area.
In addition, the area from the Administration building to the Engineering Key will go from a 15 mph zone to a 12 mph zone for Lime scooters to increase pedestrian safety, Kilcrease said. Pedestrians have the right of way, even on sidewalks.
“I encourage riders to go look at the rules because when there is a bike lane present, the scooters should be riding in the bike lane, not on the sidewalk,” he said.
Along with changes to transportation, students can look forward to events, such as the free car clinic, bike clinic and Lime scooter safety education, expected this spring semester, Kilcrease said.
“Watch our social media, Facebook accounts for those events to come out,” he said. “Watch their email because we’ll send out emails when those come out as well.”
Tech TPS can be found on Facebook at @TTUparking or Twitter at @TTUParking.