University to add parking for eco-friendly vehicles

The Traffic and Parking Appeals committee decided last week that, on North Drive, in front of Scharbauer Hall, the university will offer four special parking spaces for faculty and staff who drive environmentally friendly vehicles, TCU Police Chief Steve McGee said.

The idea for the parking passes was brought up when Scharbauer Hall sought to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, which demonstrates the university’s dedication to its green initiative, McGee said.

“The parking pass program is a pilot program that we hope to expand to students by the fall 2010,” McGee said.

Sociology professor Keith Whitworth said any hybrid vehicles such as the Toyta Prius Hybrid would qualify for green parking spots.

“I hope that three years from now, students, faculty and staff who apply for these permits will be driving neighborhood electric vehicles in which they can charge through outlets set up by the university while they are in class,” Whitworth said.

The neighborhood electric vehicles are meant for short-distance driving, and are the best for the environment because they allow drivers to plug their vehicles into a standard outlet at home, providing an alternative to expensive fossil fuels, Whitworth said.

Faculty and staff can sign up for the parking permits at the campus police department at the beginning of the fall semester. The permits will be issued on a first come, first served basis, McGee said.

The Traffic and Parking Appeals committee decided on three other changes to be made to campus for the fall, McGee said.

All 10-minute loading areas will be altered to 15-minute loading areas so that students can have enough time to unload groceries or luggage, McGee said.

Because the hours at the Mary Couts Burnett Library were extended to 24 hours, the parking lot hours will be extended to 24 hours as well, McGee said. The parking lot directly across from the University Recreation Center will now extend its hours to 3 a.m., he said.