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Larry Emling, manager of Kent State’s parking services says that

Parking services distributed nearly 16,000 parking permits this semester — about 12,000 permits for students and an additional 4,000 for faculty and staff — with only 11,000 available parking spaces around campus.

On paper, that’s about 5,000 more parking spaces than parking permits, but Emling argues it’s not a shortage at all.

 “[It’s] not a shortage, because not everyone’s here at the same time,” Emling said. “Those permits make up a wide variety of different permit options. You have the morning permits just good until 11am, evening permits good after 4pm, afternoon permits good after 2, you have students on a Monday-Wednesday type of class schedule, or a Tuesday-Thursday schedule…” 

Emling even argues that adding 1,000 spaces to make the numbers even would create a surplus of parking spaces.

“I can point out areas right now where you’re going to see open space every day even though these permits are out there,” Emling said. “Do certain prime lots fill? Yes, but you move over to the next lot if you’re a commuter. But in general, you might have to move one tier down, but there’s always parking available.”

“You’re on a large campus, you’re not going to be outside the buildings, necessarily. People have to adjust to that and realize their car is a base to operate from, but they are not going to be able to move around the campus throughout the day with that vehicle.”

In April, Emling spoke at a Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization meeting, where he promised more spaces as a result of the Summit Street reconstruction project.

“We’ll end up with a net gain of 200-plus spaces,” he said at the meeting that was covered by The Kent Stater. “Our goal is to put them in places that make sense to [students] as commuters.”

Now, Emling says 225 spaces will be added by the end of the semester, but there is a catch.

The paved-over tennis courts at Verder Hall will provide 85 spaces, while 140 spaces will be added to the C-Science lot this Fall.

Meanwhile, Phase Two of the Summit Street reconstruction project will take away nearly 200 spaces in the Spring 2017 semester – leading to a net gain of 20 spaces by the end of the school year.