Efforts made to make parking easier at Truax


Britni Petitt/Clarion

Construction of a new parking lot at the Truax Campus nears completion

Sean Bull, Broadcast Manager

Every fall, somewhere around 10,000 students return to Truax Campus. If you were to ask random students what they find inconvenient about school, many would say the same thing: parking. Starting next month, several factors come into play that try to make the life of a commuter easier.

The most obvious change, if you approach Truax from the south, is the revitalization and expansion of the overflow lots. Construction crews worked through the summer to dig up the college’s old rundown tennis courts and replace them with a new parking lot.

The lot connects to the existing overflow lots and adds 250 new spaces for student parking. The existing overflow lots and Straubel Street, which serves as the overflow lot entrance, have been completely resurfaced to match.

Additionally, a sidewalk now follows Wright Street along its west side, connecting the new lot to both Anderson and Straubel Streets. Previously the main pedestrian avenue between the overflow lots and the buildings was the bicycle path through the woods. If conditions permitted, many students also made use of a muddy shortcut between the bike path and the corner of Anderson and Wright. The new sidewalk should provide a more efficient path.

Improvements to parking this fall aren’t limited to infrastructure. Public Safety has discontinued the old system of parking permits and tags, in favor of electronic registration.

Public Safety Director John Flannery expressed hope that allowing students to register their own cars from anywhere will streamline a previously inefficient process.

“In the past, you used to have lines out at Public Safety of students waiting to get their permit,” he said. “This way from the comfort of your own home, you can register your vehicle online.”

Streamlining and simplification are a theme of the updates to parking policy. Parking off the main building’s east side, once reserved for administration, is now open to all staff. Similarly, visitors to the school are now encouraged to park amongst the students.

One benefit of the new system is that in the event of a break in or other damage to a student’s car, Public Safety can notify the owner faster than before. For cars owned by the parents of younger students, this can be especially helpful. If a car is damaged while a student is in class, the database will show their parents as the registered owner. Public safety can contact them directly, and the student is spared a distraction.

Students are asked to register their vehicles at madisoncollege.edu/parking.