By Arielle Jackson – Collegiate Staff

For many years, parking at Grand Rapids Community College has been an increasing issue for students and many would like to find a simpler solution.

“We have talked about the possibility of including costs in tuition as well as offering some type of prepaid parking option where students could elect to pay for parking at the beginning of each semester,” said GRCC Vice President of Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger.

Freiburger said because each student has different parking needs, there could be complications, and it is appropriate to find a rate at which all students, especially those who attend school multiple days out of the week, could pay.

There are currently three locations for students to park, the DeVos Campus (Sneden Hall), Bostwick Ramp and the Lyon Parking Ramp. In the Bostwick ramp there are currently 1,900 spaces, 400 spaces in the Lyon ramp and approximately 500 spaces in the DeVos ramp. Students are advised to use the DeVos campus parking due to minimal parking for students on the main campus.

“While it is rare for the DeVos campus parking to completely fill, our Bostwick and Lyon ramps do fill during peak times of the day and week,” Freiburger said.

GRCC student Emily Robison, 19, of Grand Rapids, said the parking situation is okay for the amount of space for parking. However, she said there have been many incidents where students like herself did not have enough money on their RaiderCard and the pay in lane machine did not allow credit card payments.

“I do agree (with) having it included into tuition or also paying for a card or a sticker on your car,” Robison said. “They do it at the bigger Universities like CMU, you pay $200 in the beginning of the year for parking for that semester.”

Robison said the parking cost should be lowered from $3.50 to $1.50.

“I do agree about lowering the tolls, especially because if I only take one class on a Thursday I do not want to have to pay $3.50 just to take one class” Robison said.

Freiburger said that the parking committee including Executive Director and Operational Planning Victoria Janowiak, GRCC Police Chief Rebecca Whitman, several representatives from Student Life and a representative from our faculty has talked about the parking fee and has increased the price by a $1.50 in 2014 due to cost of maintenance. Our current parking is $3.50 but is being spent for maintaining the ramps as well as reconstructing parts of the Bostwick ramp this upcoming summer.

Here is a look at parking costs fees at a sampling of Michigan colleges:

College Parking Option Parking Cost for Students Area size
GVSU Main and Pew Campus (Grand Valley State University) Parking permit, Meters Full time:(7+ credits) $300 per year/ $190 a semester

Part time:(6 or less) $200 per year/ $100 a semester

Lot J Commuter rate: $110 per year/ $55 per semester

Meters: Housing-  25 per 15 minutes, 30 minutes limit

Academic- 30 cents for 12 minutes or $1.50 per hour. There is a 4 hour limit.

Rural Area

and Urban

Lansing Community College Meters, Park pass Meters: M-F $1 per hour/ Star card 20 cents per half hour
Annual Parking Pass: $60 per semester
Urban
Muskegon Community College Parking Permit No cost; parking pass placed on rear view driver side window Urban
Grand Rapids Community College Student Raider card/ In line machine Raider Card: $3.50 per day

In line machine: $2 per half hour/ $12 daily max

After 5pm and weekends max $6

Urban

 

In addition to the parking rates Freiburger also discussed GRCC’s agreement with Ellis Parking.

“Ellis operates our parking ramps,” Freiburger said. “We contract with them on an annual basis to provide all of the services for our ramps, including the operation of the machines, the RaiderCard process and actually now the cleaning of the ramp.”

Ellis Parking has partnership with Grand Rapids Community College for more than 20 years and have maintained the upkeep of the parking ramps.

Secondly, Freiburger said the parking committee is looking to offer more parking alternatives for students in the near future as well as some new additions to the GRCC campus.

The committee is currently in the discussion phase to build new bike structures to ensure security on campus. The goal is to introduce it online this spring and will include a pilot video about this new feature. The structure will be held inside the Bostwick Ramp. A gated area where students will be able to swipe their Raider Card to get inside and out. This may increase the student percentage of bike riders at school by ensuring a safe and secure facility.