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Northwest Parking Reevaluation

Literature Review
Online Marketing Research
Amanda Podbevsek, Cassandra Moore, Emma Ehle, Derrick Schluter,
Alannah Kenowith

Literature Review
One of the most prominent complaints heard on Northwest Missouri State
Universitys campus is about dissatisfaction with parking. Students have struggled
to find quality parking spots on campus that are convenient and close to campus
classrooms due to the lack of parking spots. At times students are forced to park up
to a quarter mile away and walk the rest of the way to get to their classes.
Discussed in the following paper is the history of Northwest and parking, results
from a situation analysis of Northwests current parking situation, and research on
what other schools parking arrangements compared to Northwests and
recommendations for improvements for Northwest parking facilities on campus.
History of Northwest Parking
When Northwest Missouri State University was first founded in 1905, the
school was known as The Normal School. The Normal School was a one building
school for aspiring teachers only. At this point, there was no need for parking lots
because cars would not yet be invented for another ten years. The only
transportation form was a train located far enough away from the school that
students were still forced to walk a long distance. The proximity of the train
persuaded the State Selection Committee to turn Maryville into a state-funded
school known as the Fifth District Normal School. The first building to be added to
the campus was Horace Mann which was used for hands on experience for the
teachers in training, even back then just as much as it is today. Expansion kept
occurring, and the need for parking lots became an issue once cars became a more
popular form of transportation (Special Collections and Archives, 2016.) Since there

was room to expand at that time, adding parking lots was an easy task. When
examining the current layout of campus, there is a difficulty for Northwest to
accommodate the fast-growing student enrollment. The current issue begins here.
Northwest Missouri State University Campus Parking Situational Analysis
Parking at a college campus is under constant scrutiny from students and
faculty, and Northwest Missouri State University is no exception. With any method
used to implement parking layouts and restrictions there are going to be strengths
that are possessed, weaknesses to work on, and opportunities for the future, and
threats to the university. The main focus is the way these affect the students and
the faculty and staff on the campus.
Northwest has many strengths to differentiate it from other universities like it.
The three strengths the paper is going to focus on are relatively cheap parking
passes, parking restrictions communicated effectively through labels on parking lot
signs, and the distance between parking lots and campus buildings.
The first strength that Northwest exhibits is the fact that the prices for
parking passes are relatively cheap when compared to other universities. The price
for this pass includes campus parking for one academic year, but there are different
prices when transferring into a different trimester. Not only does Northwest have
options for the student and staff stickers, there are also options for one that hangs
from the rearview mirror of your vehicle. When comparing schools similar to
Northwest that charge up to $140 for a yearly parking pass, Northwest has a
competitive advantage with parking pass prices for $90 according to Northwest

parking facilities website (Northwest Missouri State University, Northwest Facts,

The second strength that Northwest has is the effective communication of
parking restrictions through parking lot signs. Northwest has designated parking
spots for commuters, residents, and faculty. Commuters are students that attend
Northwest but live off campus and drive to the campus, residents are students
attending Northwest and are living on campus, and faculty spots are for campus
staff and faculty. The signs are posted directly at the entrance of every parking lot
and lists, in color, and identify what students can park in the lot creating an
organized system. The way that Northwest color-coded the signs were orange for
commuter, green for residents, and faculty parking is black according to the
Northwest parking facilities website9 (Northwest Missouri State University, 2016.)
The final strength that the university exhibits is that the distance between
parking lots and campus buildings is small. In relation to the buildings, the spots
that students can park in for class are relatively close creating easy access. During
the late fall semesters and early spring semesters the weather can be harsh, but
having close proximity to the campus buildings gives an ultimate advantage. In
providing closer lots, students are able to get to class quicker.
Though Northwest has easy and cheap parking when compared to other
colleges as well as close proximity between parking lots and classrooms--the
weaknesses are still evident. Weaknesses include limited access to quality student
and faculty parking spaces, uneven distribution of shared lots between commuters,

residents, and faculty, and lack of scalability when Northwest continues to grow
(Northwest Missouri State University, 2016.)
The first weakness Northwests current parking system faces is the limited
access to quality student, faculty and staff parking spaces. While Northwest is a
relatively small campus compared to other universities, the number of spaces
closest to the most populated buildings are extremely limited. Colden Hall, one of
the most popular buildings on campus, is a prime example of how the closest
parking lots for commuter students trying to access this building are located behind
the Fine Arts building and the football stadium parking lot. The limited number of
spots in the parking lots causes a major issue when it comes to parking for
students. When spots are filled in the two parking lots the second option for
students is to find off-campus parking causing students to have to walk even further
to Colden Hall. The un-proportional ratio of available parking spaces to number of
people using the building at the same time causes an inconvenience and
dissatisfaction of students as well as faculty and staff.
The second weakness is the fact that shared lots between commuters,
residents, and faculty are unequal. Northwest only has five commuter lots, 22
faculty and staff only lots, and only nine residential lots. Considering that Northwest
has 6,593 students and only 253 full time faculty, the lot numbers seem
disproportionate (Northwest Missouri State University, 2016.) Even though
residents, commuters, and faculty all have designated lots, there are not enough
spaces in each so the pass holders tend to spill over into other lots causing even
more issues regarding space. Northwest has designated multi-permit lots for all

pass classifications, but these lots in the past have been abused by resident parkers
and has been overlooked by University Police when distributing parking tickets.
The last weakness is the lack of scalability if Northwest were to continue to
grow. Earlier maps of Northwest parking lots show that there are few parking lots
but as the student population grew, so did the parking lot amount for the campus.
Though, when looking at Northwest currently, there have been no set plans for any
more parking lots in the near future. The problem is that the student population is
increasing year by year and this will make parking difficult for commuter students.
The three opportunities that will be focused on are getting a permit to build a
parking garage, Northwest increasing in population, and implementing a new fine
distribution policy. In turn, enforcing tickets for students or faculty parking in the
wrong spot will decrease the amount of parking violations on campus ensuring that
students with permits park only in their designated parking lot.

An opportunity that Northwest will face is population fluctuations.

When Northwest gets a large increase in students, Northwest will need to
expand parking lots or build a parking garage. Benefits would include more
designated areas for parking and easier access to campus buildings. With the
growing student population at Northwest and limited grounds for more
parking lots, a parking garage will be more effective when fulfilling needs for
commuters, residents and even faculty.
The last opportunity is for Northwest to apply for a permit to build a
parking garage. Northwest being granted the opportunity from the city to

build a better parking facility such as a parking garage, will allow

accommodations for all future growth in the student population. Through this
addition, Northwest can acquire a competitive advantage over surrounding
area universities by providing convenience for students, staff, and faculty.
Potential threats Northwest faces is the fact that recruitment will be affected
by word of mouth from current students who are displeased and unhappy with the
parking system. Students and faculty will continue to stop buying parking permits
because the parking situation is not improved making more students park offcampus, resulting in a decrease in revenue for Northwest.
Situation Analysis Conclusion
After conducting a situational analysis of Northwest parking, the results
conclude that Northwest is relatively cheap in price, parking is made easy with
visible and descriptive signs, and lots are close to the buildings but pass holders
simply do not have enough space to park which leads to people parking in the
wrong lot. The previous issues could deter prospective students from choosing
Northwest, or simply pushing more people to not buy passes at all. Opportunities to
fix this will be to expand certain lots or build a parking garage. After finding this
information out, the next step is to consider what other schools are doing to get an
accurate comparison. Doing this will provide more ideas for solutions for Northwest.
University Comparison

In the search for solutions to the issues with campus parking at Northwest,
research needed to be conducted on how other similar universities have
approached this situation. Research about other universities will determine what
other parking arrangements and solutions Northwest could implement, as well as
how Northwest compares in terms of available parking and parking prices.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
University of Nebraska is a lot like Northwest when looking at the size and
overall number of lots. Nebraska Kearney has 7,052 students compared to
Northwests 6,593. The university has 12 faculty lots to accommodate 374 staff, as
well as four commuter lots, 11 residential lots, combined with one faculty and
commuter lot, and one lot used for all three (University of Nebraska at Kearney, fact
book, 2016.) At University of Nebraska at Kearney a residential parking pass for the
year cost $115 and a commuter pass costs $90 (University of Nebraska at Kearney,
Campus Map, 2016.)
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma is home to 12,790 students and 843 faculty
(University of Central Oklahoma, 2016.) Oklahoma differs greatly from Northwest
with 14 commuter lots, 16 residential lots, 13 faculty lots, and 11 multi permit lots.
Permits at this university all cost $125 for the year.
University of South Dakota
University of South Dakota is a little bit bigger than Northwest with 9,971
students and 453 faculty members. South Dakota has ten residential lots, 13 faculty
and commuter combined lots, and seven lots open to all types of permits (University

of South Dakota, Institutional Research, 2016). Annual permit prices at $138 are
significantly higher than Northwests (University of South Dakota, campus map,
University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota Duluth has an enrollment of 10,878 students and
employs 395 faculty (University of Minnesota Duluth, About, 2016.) Parking lots on
this campus consist of 13 residential lots, four faculty and staff only lots, nine
commuter, faculty, and staff lots as well as nine more that are closer in proximity to
academic buildings. Duluth, unlike any of the other campuses, has four metered
parking lots. Prices for each of these lots are $120 for the nine original blended
parking lots and $195 for the lots that are closer, 25 cents for 15 minutes in the
metered parking lots, and a bus pass for $10 each semester (University of
Minnesota Duluth, Map, 2016.)
Valdosta State University
Valdosta State University has 9,328 students enrolled and faculty ratio almost
exact to Northwest of 20 to one (Valdosta State University, Admissions Information,
2016.) Valdosta has ten faculty and staff parking lots and 13 commuter lots. A major
difference between the other schools and this one is that the parking decks for the
residential students. Faculty and staff parking permits cost $40 annually, commuter
passes are $50 and the parking deck costs $50 a year for access. Valdostas parking
deck contains 1,157 total parking spots, but are only for residential students and
have an odd placement, only 30 percent of space offered is used at any given time
(Valdosta State University, Parking and Transportation, 2016.) While arguing that
this does show a more effective parking system than Northwests current policy, this

paper will discuss even further possibilities for improvement such as providing a
more convenient location and offering access to larger amounts of people.
West Texas A&M
West Texas A&M has a different approach to the parking situation than
Northwest. West Texas A&M has 9,489 students and 729 faculty/staff members,
making the school bigger than Northwest. As far as West Texas A&M University's
parking situation, there are 12 resident zones, 13 faculty zones and four commuter
zones. West Texas A&M University also has eight plain zones that anyone can park
in, one of the lots being a parking garage attached to one of the classroom buildings
(West Texas A&M, Police Services, 2016.) Parking pass pricing are also different than
Northwest as well. Faculty pass pricing is actually based on a four-tiered salary
system, and for students the first pass is included in tuition, any additional passes
are four dollars, and replacements are ten dollars (West Texas A&M, Campus Map,
After looking into the parking systems implemented by the other schools with
similar student and faculty population, research found that schools that have similar
student enrollment numbers to Northwest have invested into building parking
garages, which in turn allowed students and faculty to have access to campus from
closer parking lots. After looking at the different complaints and issues with the
current parking system and the available possibilities for future consumer
satisfaction, the research found that a parking garage would be the best possible
outcome. Research from schools similar to Northwest contributes to the idea that
this will be a good opportunity for Northwest to invest in as well, and will cover the

expenses by even including the additional cost into tuition-as West Texas A&M has
done and as Northwest has implemented in the past with additions such as the new
recreation center.

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