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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
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TCU parking: Not a lot of spots in the lots

Corrigan Smiley
A street on the east side of campus with cars in the street and parking lot showing the overflow. (Corrigan Smiley/Staff Writer)

Commuters looking for parking often find the lots on the east campus full as TCU’s growth puts the squeeze on spaces.  

Parking is tight for all students, but the scarcity of spots for commuters is acute. This year, there are 4,150 spots set aside for commuters to share with faculty and staff, but 4,476 permits have been issued for those spots.  

Overall, there are 9,800 parking spaces on campus this year and 8,700 permits have been issued. 

“I live pretty far away, about a 10 minute drive and my mornings have been completely thrown off, not having time to eat when I wake up, stressing If I don’t get to the lot 20 minutes early because I’ll miss class. It’s a mess,” said Connor Parrish, a senior living off campus.

Although there are more commuter permits than spots, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Safety Adrian Andrews said the situation isn’t as bad as it seems.   

“There’s a lot that is always empty,” Andrews said referring to lot four, behind Amon G. Carter Stadium. He said most of the 397 spots in that lot are never filled and there’s a shuttle available to bring people onto campus.  

The empty lot four next to Amon G. Carter. (Corrigan Smiley/Staff Writer)

TCU’s parking woes are tied to its growth. This fall enrollment increased 4.2% overall to 12,785, compared to last year. TCU’s undergraduate population grew 3.9% to 10,915. TCU’s undergraduate population has ballooned 26% since 2013, from 8,640.  

 The growth of admissions from the fall 2020 semester to fall 2022 was almost 1,000 students, according to TCU Institutional Research. 

The rapid growth in the student population has come growing pains. In relation to parking on campus, the effects are evident.  

Construction of the new dorms on the east side of campus. (Corrigan Smiley/Staff Writer)

The construction for the new residential halls behind the Neeley School of Business eliminated 208 reserved spaces. 

The lack of parking for students off-campus has led to cars overflowing into the street affecting parking for nearby housing. Students living close to campus have not been able to park at their houses resulting in students having to park illegally just to get home.

“I don’t drive to class but my house is right next to the lot so when it overflows, just in order to park my car at my house, I have to park illegally,” said Jake Hunton, a senior living close to the Neeley School of Business. “I have over $1,000 in tickets because of the lack of parking at TCU and students having to park all over the place just to get to class.”

According to the TCU Parking & Transportation website, there are two shuttles that operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday every week when classes are in session. 

Ruben Skinner III, a junior music education major, said he doesn’t use the stadium lots.

“I got towed my first year when I parked in lot four, so that’s why I don’t trust it,” he said. “The walk from there to any class is 20 minutes and very inconvenient.” 

Skinner said he did not know about the shuttle service from lot four to the rest of campus.  

The commuter transit routes from lots three and four to the other side of campus.

Andrews offered this advice.

“Don’t come an hour and a half early to drive around the lots. Come 20 minutes early, park in lot four and then either walk from there or get a shuttle that will drive you there within 10 minutes.” 

Andrews said TCU is taking parking into account as it grows.

“In the future, we plan to move east and build more smaller parking garages in buildings we are already building,” Andrews said. “We have an appropriate number of spaces for people to park on this campus. Just bear with us as we keep growing.”  

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