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Alison Strominger Professor Wright ENC 3331 November 11, 2012 UCF Parking Dilemma- Analysis With an enrollment

of just over 60,000 students, the University of Central Florida is currently the largest university in the country. Beginning as a small state school called Florida Technological University in 1963, the sizeable university we are familiar with today only had 1,948 students. In just 50 short years, the University of Central Floridas enrollment increased by nearly 150%. The student enrollment continues to increase each year. If UCF is going to continue to allow more and more students to attend the university, they are going to have to accommodate them by building more academic buildings, having more resources available, and most importantly, have suitable ways for these students to actually be able get to campus without hassle. According to the Central Florida Future, there are 17,854 parking spots available on the University of Central Florida main campus. Of these, only 15,726 are for cars. Both faculty and students share these 15,726 car parking spots, making even fewer spots for the 32,511 who purchased parking permits this year! According to an article written by Knight News, 27,295 green parking permits were sold to students this year. There are only 12,500 green parking spots on the campus. UCF sold more than double the amount of permits than there are spots available! 236 of the 17,854 total parking spots are motorcycle parking spots, 7 are for hybrid vehicles, and the remaining spots are for

miscellaneous spots such as load/drop off and health center parking. The following table breaks this information down in more readable terms. Decal breakdown: Number of Parking Spots All permits combined Green parking permits (Student) 17,854 12,500 Decals sold 32,511 27,295

Parking spot type breakdown: Total available parking spots Car parking spots Green student parking decal spots Faculty/handicap/housing complex spots Motorcycle parking Hybrid car parking 17,854 15,726 12,500 3,219 236 7

Clearly, there are not enough parking spots available for students who are attending the university and more importantly, the students who have actually used their money to purchase a parking permit. The peak time for parking on campus is Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 2pm. Although not everyone who purchases a parking permit will be trying to find a spot at the same time, the majority of students are on campus around the same time. Many students will come to campus in the morning and park their vehicle for the entire day in fear that if they leave campus at some point they will not be able to find another parking spot. A student holding onto their spots all day causes parking to be congested even after the peak times.

I got the chance to survey 30 students currently attending the University of Central Florida. Of these students, 89% said it was difficult to find parking on campus. 89% also said that they have actually been late to a class because they were unable to find a parking space. Not only is finding a parking spot on campus an issue, but the amount of time it takes to find a parking spot is also a huge problem. The students in my survey said that it took them this long to find a parking space when trying to get to class: Under 5 minutes 5-10 minutes 10-15 minutes 15-20 minutes Over 20 minutes 0 35.7% 28.6% 21.4% 17.9%

The parking nightmare on this campus exists for many reasons. If UCF is going to increase enrollment each year, they also need to accommodate these students and increase parking spaces. While a new garage was just recently built last year, a parking lot was also demolished in order to build two new sorority houses on Greek Row this fall. So in other words, UCFs attempts to increase available parking spots took one step forward and two steps back. If UCF is going to continue to accept more students each year and fails to add additional parking, the parking situation on campus will just continue to get worse. Another factor that contributes to the parking problem at the University of Central Florida is the location and set up of the campus. UCF is most definitely not a pedestrian friendly campus. Students are not given the option to walk to campus because there is

really no housing available that is within walking distance to campus. The only students who are able to walk to class are those who live in on-campus housing. Students who live off-campus only have two options; to face the parking nightmare and drive to campus or the take the UCF offered shuttle system. This leads me to the final reason parking is such an issue on our campus- the lack of knowledge of the UCF shuttle system. The UCF shuttle system has 36 shuttle buses operating throughout the week running back and forth from 18 different apartment complexes, Rosen School of Hospitality, and the Health Sciences campus. The majority of UCF students are not aware of the shuttle system and how it operates and this is due to lack of promotion of the shuttle system. Of the students surveyed, only 25% said they had used the UCF shuttle system. 75% have never set foot on it. 78% of students surveyed are not familiar with the shuttle routes, run times, and pick up/drop off locations. If students were made more aware of the shuttle systems routes, running times, and drop off/pick up locations, chances are more students would be prompted to take the shuttle system instead of driving to campus. The more students who take the shuttle system, the fewer cars there would be trying to park on campus. According to my research, only one large attempt was made to fix the problem. A group of UCF engineering students attempted to develop a smartphone application to help with the parking situation. The smartphone app would allow students to alert other users when they were going to leave their parking spot. The students coming to campus would be able to log onto the application and find available parking spots on campus without the hassle.

From what I could find, it sounded like the students were unable to come up with adequate funding to complete this project. They had a YouTube video out to inform people about their idea. I also found a Facebook page that they had created. This project took place two years ago in 2010 while I was currently attending UCF. I never once heard about their attempts to launch this smartphone application, therefore making me believe that their rhetoric tactics of choice were not chosen or distributed effectively. I believe their choices of rhetoric failed because their main source of communication was a video, and I dont think that the video went viral. If they had gotten their video out there and had more people view it, their idea and solution might have taken off and potentially solved this issue for students.

Sources: http://knightnews.com/2012/10/students-upset-with-ucf-parking-as-population-soars/ http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/news/parking-problems-on-the-rise1.2761415#.UKAWZ2nuWXQ http://knightnews.com/2010/11/ucf-students-plan-app-to-solve-parking-mess/ http://www.iroffice.ucf.edu/character/current.html