Towson Commuters! Park Like a Boss this year.

Parking

Picture it. You live off campus. It’s 9:04 AM and you have class in the Liberal Arts building at 9:30. Even if this would never happen to, just imagine this. You have a parking permit, for which you paid approximately enough to buy a new TV, but you’ve made your peace with it. It’s 9:07, and you’re turning from Towsontown Blvd. into campus to get to Towsontown garage.

Everything is going very well, you’re blasting music to wake you up a little because let’s be real, it’s early and you didn’t have enough time to buy coffee this morning. You’re enjoying the beauty that is Towson’s campus, the sun shining over the brand new pouncing tiger (totally taking a picture with that thing when I graduate.)Image

Then, to your absolute horror, you see a huge sign that says “PARKING GARAGE FULL. PROCEED TO TOWSON CENTER.” Does everyone reading know where the Towson Center is? It’s that area all the way up the hill, across from the hospital, where you only go for big events and football games. Basically, it’s all the way over in Guam and you would be seriously late for class and probably sweating if you had to park and walk all the way back from there. So you, like every other person in their cars trying to get to class, decide to completely ignore said sign and proceed into the garage.

It’s 9:13 and you’re starting to get nervous. If you’re late to class you will be SO PISSED. Second floor of the garage is full, third floor is full, fourth floor is full. Suddenly you see this girl. She’s walking like she just did time in an 8-9:15 class (we all feel for those people), and she has her keys out so what do you do? STALK. Obviously.

Girl with keys was a bust. She crossed isles and after that you gave up.  It’s 9:17, and you are pretty much freaking out. It’s okay though because if you ever get to the top floor, there will be lots of spots like there always are.

Top floor is full. It’s 9:22. Like everyone else, you are now doomed. You race down the floors of the garage, forgetting all garage rules and regulations, and drive out, completely ignoring the fact that the green Civic has the right of way, and make it back out to Bosley avenue.

You’re driving like a madman. Eventually, you get to the Glen Garage and after a few wrong turns, accidentally parking in a spot that’s only for paying visitors (So annoying. When does York Road ever have that many visitors?! WHEN?) you finally find a parking spot and somehow by the grace of God you get to class before your name is called. NAILED IT.

So maybe that exact situation hasn’t happened to you, but let’s all admit that out of the thousands of things that we all love about Towson University, on campus parking is not always one of them. The signs are super confusing, the garages are all different, the rules are always changing and even when you do know the rules and you know where to look for a spot, you still have to find one, which is just about as hard as giving a cat a bath. That’s really hard, people.Image

Let’s get a few things straight. For all the commuters out there, I know you’ve read the parking signs in the garages. They’re kind of hard to understand. Last week I spent two minutes staring at one just trying to understand it, and finally had to ask a parking security employee. I’m a senior. It was a little pathetic. However, what’s come out of the story above (which was my life on Thursday morning) is that I spent hours on the Towson University Parking and Transportation website and now I can go to campus confident in understanding Towson parking! Winning.

Most of the problems about parking seem to exist for commuters, so let’s talk about rules! Commuters with permits can use any of the commuter lots, and any of the overflow parking. These parking spaces are available in the Glen Garage, the Union Garage, the Towsontown Garage, and back parking lot behind the Administration building, all of which you can see in this map. For those of you who don’t know, lot 24A is the parking lot all the way back behind the Admin building. This is a great parking lot for commuters because it’s not as far from campus as the Towson Center, or the West Village garage, both of which are open for commuters as overflow parking. Also, most commuters don’t even know that lot exists. So use it!

Now all these parking areas seem great, but not the whole garage is for us, so we have to listen to the signs. Parking signs Imageare posted just about every 25 feet throughout every floor of every garage on campus, and they have a lot of words that seem to contradict each other. First of all, don’t stand there and try to read it all for ten minutes like I did because I looked like an idiot and a security worker had to come help me and I felt pathetic. Parking and Transportation Services has actually made it really easy for us! Every commuter parking area has parking signs that say COMMUTER PERMIT VALID and the sign is outlined in green. Green means go!

Since commuter parking spots are green, it’s only natural that non-commuter spots, like Faculty/Staff parking areas have signs outlined in red, and read FACULTY/STAFF ONLY. I know there’s a bunch of jumble above that part of the sign that makes it seem like any permit is valid, and that used to get me every time. What that part of the sign means is that this specific area requires some sort of parking permit, and below is the parking permit that is allowed here. I don’t know about anyone else, but until a woman at Parking and Transportation Services explained it to me, I didn’t get it, and I like to think I’m not stupid.

So moral of the story is when parking, look for the green signs and avoid the red signs! Parking and Transportation Services was nice enough to give everyone a warning for the first week, instead of giving people tickets, but it’s not the first week anymore people! Starting this week, they will be giving tickets to any cars parked in areas that aren’t valid, so watch the signs, and you’ll be fine!

If you have any questions about parking, check this website out and feel free to call Parking and Transportation Services at 410-704-PARK (7275).They’re very nice and helpful.

by: Lexy Wright

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