Students may see new short- and long-term parking options
- Liberty looking for ways to provide students with more parking options around campus.
- In lieu of walking from Zone 4 or other distant parking locations on campus, LUPD suggests utilizing LU Transit and LU Safe Ride.
With campus-wide complaints about parking, or lack thereof, Liberty University’s Planning and Construction Department is working tirelessly to increase the number of residential and commuter parking spaces on campus.
“We’re real close, hopefully, to giving everybody a little elbow room for parking and traffic,” Vice President of Major Construction Daniel Deter said.
Deter said that it has been reiterated to him many times in the past weeks that the problem of parking must be fixed to relieve the pressure on campus.
Though the department has long-term plans for parking, Deter has a few quick-fixes in his back pocket. For example, South Campus may receive 350 new spots this semester, and the department is currently scouting out some possibilities for extra spaces near the Vines Center.
Deter also recognized that Green Hall has its fair share of parking problems, as many faculty, staff and commuters are assigned spaces on the north side of campus.
Because many of the maintenance buildings in the LaHaye parking lot on North Campus are no longer in use, they may be razed to create more parking spaces. Deter said his department is also looking at tucking a parking garage behind Green Hall to add parking for football and hockey games as well as theater productions. Keeping parking as unobtrusive as possible is a priority.
“(President Jerry Falwell) is very focused on not turning the entire campus into a parking lot,” Deter said. “We want to keep green areas. We want to keep intramural fields.”
Though not the most convenient, 700 parking spaces will open on Liberty Mountain for commuters upon the completion of the new natatorium. A shuttle service will run to the lot, providing transportation to and from campus.
“I know there’s some short-term pain, but we hope it’s going to be for long-term gain,” Deter said.
At the start of the semester, approximately 15,288 parking spaces were available around Liberty’s campus. About 12,740 parking passes were distributed for the fall semester, according to the Liberty University Police Department.
“In comparison to last year, we do have more people occupying main campus on a consistent basis,” LUPD wrote in an email. “We also have more parking spaces available per capita than last year, however, they are not the most convenient.”
Because of Liberty’s reputation as the world’s largest Christian university, campus generates a lot of foot traffic on a daily basis from visitors, prospective students and families. There is a never a guarantee of convenient parking.
“Our guarantee is that you will be able to find a parking space with transit services available every time you come to campus,” LUPD wrote. “This is the exact reason ‘overflow’ exists.”
If a student or employee is unable to find parking in their assigned zone, overflow parking is available in Zone 4 located on East Campus. Parking in a zone without the proper parking pass may result in the owner’s car being towed at their expense.
Deter recognized that Zone 4 is out of the way for many drivers, and, in order to promote the safety of all, both Deter and LUPD suggested using the school’s free transit system, especially in the later hours of the night.
“Utilize Transit Services,” LUPD suggested in an email. “It is one of the best campus transit systems in the country. Utilize LU Safe Ride. Utilize overflow parking when necessary, and, if you see a parking violator, contact LUPD.”
LU Safe Ride is a 24/7 service offered by LUPD where anyone with a student ID may contact the department for transportation from one part of campus to another. By calling LUPD Dispatch at 434-592-7641, students will be picked up and dropped off by an LUPD officer.
“We pride ourselves on cultivating creative ways to deal with challenges in the most effective and efficient ways possible,” LUPD wrote.
Though overflow parking is a bit out of the way, the university provides users with options to get to and from Zone 4 with relative ease. Additionally, the South Bridge connecting South Campus to East Campus is expected to open in November. This additional vein will connect two major arteries on campus and alleviate a lot of stress on the infrastructure, Deter said.
Though spaces may not always be available in desired lots, the university ensures students, faculty and staff have a place to park their cars and a way to get to the main parts of campus.
“We want to know when there are issues on campus,” Deter said. “My department here is for the student body.”