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New parking meters break ground on campus

New parking meters were installed throughout the New Mexico State University main campus this past fall, providing more opportunities for visitors to park on campus without the risk of receiving a ticket. These meters are different from the old coin-operated meters in that they accept credit cards. 

After new parking meters were installed in various NMSU parking lots, students and visitors now have more opportunities to park on campus without the risk of receiving a ticket. However, some students believe change is needed. (Photo by Sydney Huber/Kokopelli)

Along with students who live in residence halls or family housing, the parking meters can also be used by commuter students. Those who live in on-campus apartments such as Chamisa, Cervantes and Vista del Monte can use the meters as well. However, despite the new parking meters’ implementation, some students believe more change is needed. 

Kokopelli reporters recently conducted an online survey of 127 NMSU students, and 54.3% of them said they lived off campus, while 59.8% of these students said they have had to use a parking meter before.  

The average cost of using a parking meter for a one-to-two-hour class ranges from $1.50 to $2.00. While the parking meters might be convenient for some students, the cost of using them adds up, especially when used daily by commuter students or campus residents.

Parking meters might be convenient for events or classes that are time-sensitive, and there is just the slight inconvenience of having to pay for parking that gets you to class on time, but some students are not sold on using meters to pay for parking. According to the survey, a lot of students question paying for a parking spot after already purchasing a yearly parking pass. “I refuse to spend $90 on a parking permit, and then spend even more on parking meters,” one student stated in response to the survey.

“I refuse to spend $90 on a parking permit, and then spend even more on parking meters.”

According to NMSU’s online parking information, the cost of a parking permit for a commuter student and campus resident is $87. Compared to the University of New Mexico’s $204 parking permit, NMSU’s price of $87 might not seem so outrageous. However, it may still be seen as a financial concern for many students.  

“The price isn’t bad, but it would be nice to have more parking space availability that isn’t far from class,” stated an anonymous survey respondent. This suggests that while many people might think the price is fair, it’s not worth the daily fight for a parking spot. 

NMSU student Esther Sulpizio expressed outrage over the combined cost of parking and tuition. “I lost my sticker for the permit I bought because my car was stolen, and when I got a new car, [I was told] I would have to buy another [sticker] for the second semester, which would be an added $40 to the $80 I already spent before. Plus, parking tickets … are $35 or more apiece,” Sulpizio said. “When I paid $1,600 for tuition this semester, every added expense just to utilize that tuition is ridiculous and often unnecessary.”

According to a recent survey conducted among 127 NMSU students, 86.3% believe the price of parking permits on the NMSU campus needs to be changed. (Inforaphic by Kokopelli staff)

Out of the 127 students who participated in the survey, 86.3% said the price of parking permits on campus needs to be changed. Aside from how people feel about the new meters, they are here to stay. 

For those who struggle with finding parking for classes, here are a few tips and tricks:  

  • Look up the campus parking map. More specifically, review the color-coded parking, and find the places that match your parking permit based on their assigned color. 
  • Plan by factoring in how long it takes to find a parking spot. Typically, larger parking lots might take about five minutes, while smaller lots could take 10-15 minutes.  
  • Buy your parking permit before the semester begins to avoid being ticketed.  
  • Get to your desired parking lot at the typical class-ending times. The most common class-ending times are 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. 
  • Remember that parking rules do not apply after 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Use this opportunity to find free parking for classes that meet later in the day.  


One Comment

  1. Rosanne Johnson

    I’m a commuter student and I didn’t realize that parking rules don’t apply after 4:30 p.m. Perfect for my 4:30-7:00 class! Thanks!

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