Parking space is always a problematic issue in most university and colleges globally. The issue of discussion has always been whether this is an issue that can be addressed conclusively or it has to be endured years on end. There have been many attempts by several institutions of higher education both in the US and the UK to try to resolve the issue of parking space, results of which have been utilized in implementing future plans of these institutions and others, so as to ensure that the problem is minimized, or at least eliminated all together.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University located at the Daytona Beach has been no exception. A survey carried out at the college indicates that students are quite dissatisfied with the parking arrangement in the university. They not only have trouble finding parking space but also complain of lateness as they spend a lot of time looking for parking space than actually attending their lectures.
This report details the survey, and attempts to suggest methods that can be employed to ensure that the perennial problems experienced in the campus in regard to parking space is reduced or eliminated all together. In carrying out this survey, students from the university were interviewed using questionnaire that detailed the various problems that would be experienced by students at the university. Some of the queries addressed in the questionnaire include the student’s place of residence, mode of transportation, and level of satisfaction with the current parking arrangement at the university as well as their suggestions on how the issue of parking can be improved.
The results obtained are analyzed using statistical methods in order to come up with a conclusion on whether people are satisfied with then parking arrangement at the university. Conclusions and methods of remedying the problem will then be discussed at the tail end of this paper.
In order to understand the problem of parking space at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a number of primary data sources were employed. These included mainly observation as well as an online survey available at surveymonkey.com. Observation, as a primary source of data provided first hand insight in to the problems of parking at the University. The researcher, who is a student at the university took time to observe students and faculty problems in finding parking space, and documented the random times taken by various students to find parking space.
In this case, care was taken to ensure that the figures were rationalized in a way that the sample taken was representative of at least every hour in the days observed. This was done to ensure that the data collected shows an actual average trend as opposed to a one time observation that may not be reflective of the actual parking problem. Additionally, taking data for at least each hour of the day ensured that peak hours and off-peak hours were all taken into consideration.
An online survey at survey monkey.com was also launched and run for one week, and response on the same noted. The questions were tailored to ensure that maximum information was gathered from the respondents. Some of the questions addressed include the student’s place of residence, mode of transportation, and level of satisfaction with the current parking arrangement at the university as well as their suggestions on how the issue of parking can be improved. These queries not only addressed the problem in totality but also ensured that the respondents participated in the provision of a solution to this problem.
Secondary data was gathered from literature that existed on this issue. As stated at the onset of this report, a number of studies have been carried out in many parts of the world in an attempt to curb the escalation of this problem. Some of the secondary materials that were addressed were past literature, current news items on the dailies as well as the universities newsletter, which had insightful information on the subject at hand.
It was the opinion of the researcher that the problem of parking at this university is mainly due to inadequate space, as well as many people using their personal vehicles rather than the use of mass transport. The fact that many resident students and faculty members have their vehicles parked at the university almost all the times is also responsible for escalating the problem.
It was observed that as expected, the parking problem escalated especially in the early morning classes that were attended by almost full capacity and therefore students had challenges finding parking space. Notably too, in those lectures that coincided with many others, there was an intense parking space problem as people struggled to find some unreserved space.
In the evenings however, there was less problems with parking space, but most strikingly, a lot of illegal parking was experienced during this time, which is mainly due to the less consideration, given the time of the day. Weekends also witnessed almost full capacity vehicles in the parking lot, although it was observed that there was no apparent lack of space. This is mainly explained by the large number of people that report in for the weekend classes, especially the working class students.
The online survey, posted in the survey monkey website, revealed an interesting trend in the parking problem at the university. Out of the 20 students who responded,45 percent said that they lived in campus, this actually meant that they did not require parking space because most of them could easily access lectures from their hostels and so they needed not use vehicles in the university. 65 percent of those who lived out of campus insisted that they were very dissatisfied with the parking arrangement at the university while 55 percent of them suggested methods of improving the parking problem at the university.
Eight out of ten of those who responded indicated that they used cars to access the universities as compared to only twenty percent who used motorbikes’ and other methods to access the university. This means that a large number of people actually need parking space.
As explained above, a majority of the respondents were grossly dissatisfied with the parking space as well as arrangement of parking schedules at the university, with some so dissatisfied that they had to hike lifts at some times for fear of wasting time looking for parking space. Almost 95prcent of these reported having been late for lectures as a result of the issue of parking problem at the campus, 90 percent of them claiming that this has happened many times.
In a question where respondents were required to indicate the time they take to find parking space, the average time taken was found to be 6-10 minutes, with about 10 percent detailing that they have taken over 15 minutes on some incidents looking for parking space, normally arriving late for lectures.
Interestingly, out of the respondents of the online survey, close to 85percent explained that they were normally at the campus for between 3-6 hours, mainly since they have to wait for lectures to resume after breaks, or to attend lectures that would start in intervals of one hour after the initial class. This means that if someone attends the 8 o’clock lecture and another starts at around 11am, then they have to hang around campus, preferably at the library to await the lecture. This has escalated the problem.
Asked how best to improve the parking problems at the university, 70percent of the respondents believed that have campus bus shuttles would sort the problem once and for all since these shuttles normally carry many students at a time, while just amount 25percent believed that the best option would be to increase the parking spaces. Their argument was centered on the fact that the university still had ample and unutilized land that could as well be utilized for parking space in future. A small percentage, just about 10 percent believed that having a garage exterior was the best option while the remainder did not respond to this query.
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