As Concordia University Wisconsin continues to grow, one issue is amplified: limited parking space.
Some of the potential solutions that are being considered include parking off campus (at MATC), Freshman not having cars, creating additional surface parking across the street, and adding another level to the parking structure.
“There are different avenues that we’re exploring,” Director of Campus Safety Mario Valdes said.
These solutions present their own set of advantages and difficulties.
Off-campus parking would require no new construction. Preventing freshman from having cars is a common university policy that has been shown to work. Additional surface parking would make use of land we seldom use. Adding another level to the parking structure would add more parking in a space familiar to students.
Conversely, off-campus parking would have to be offered at a discounted price or even for free, and would require close––and potentially cumbersome––coordination with MATC. Mequon’s location makes a no-car policy for freshman particularly restricting on their mobility; additional surface parking would have to be approved by the city and likely cause trouble with neighbors who already have a negative disposition towards CUW. And adding another level to the parking structure would likely be both very slow and very expensive.
Traditional on-campus student population has increased 26.8 percent since 2010. Meanwhile, parking spots have become more scarce at CUW. The vast majority of them remain taken by registered vehicles, currently leaving less than 150 spaces open.
Valdes said that the most common reason for tickets is students not parking in the structure. And said more tickets were issued last semester than before.
The parking lots with the most violations were on the east side of campus, by Coburg, Chemnitz, and Regents.
Parking is an ongoing issue, but Campus Safety and the administration will continue to search for solutions as CUW’s student body deals with the current space. At least one of these solutions will likely begin to be implemented in the future.