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Fall semester brings parking, traffic upgrades to campus

Students, faculty and staff returning soon for fall semester will encounter changes to how they navigate and park around campus.

Parking and shuttle route changes for fall “are subtle, but very significant,” according to Ron Malone, MTSU assistant vice president of events and transportation.

Three-tiered parking permits
Roughly half of the Bell Street parking lot is now being designated for students who live in campus housing. These spaces will be available to students with red permits and are now separated by a row of yellow metal barriers. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Roughly half of the Bell Street parking lot is now being designated for students who live in campus housing. These spaces will be available to students with red permits and are now separated by a row of yellow metal barriers. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

The University has moved to a simpler three-tiered parking system: “white” decals for faculty and staff, “green” decals for commuter students, and “red” decals for all campus housing residents.

Previously, permits for campus residents were either red, gold or purple based on place of residence on campus. The change is expected to allow students living on campus to park closer to their residences while helping commuter students get to class faster by not searching for spots in the interior of campus.

Faculty and staff will be allowed to park in areas designated for red and green permits.

“Everyone is asked to familiarize themselves with these changes and park their vehicles accordingly,” Malone said.

Motorists are encouraged to pay attention to the signage at lot entrances that indicate allowed permits and to make sure their permits are always visible.

More parking available

Parking will also get another boost with the addition of 768 new commuter parking spaces near the Campus Recreation Center on the east side of campus.

Dubbed the ‘softball lot’, this new surface lot gives commuting students access to more parking nearer the core of campus and will provide much needed additional parking for those visiting the Rec Center.

The University enters its second year of having two student parking garages off Champion Way and MTSU Boulevard respectively. Students can access the garages with the swipe of their student IDs.

Road construction wrapping up
In this June file photo, motorists navigate the partially completed Champion Way/Lightning Way rotary on MTSU's campus as road construction and landscaping continues. The project is expected to be finished later this fall and will improve traffic flow on the north side of campus. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

In this June file photo, motorists navigate the partially completed Champion Way/Lightning Way rotary on MTSU’s campus as road construction and landscaping continues. The project is expected to be finished later this fall and will improve traffic flow on the north side of campus. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Construction on Champion Way and Lightning Way will be finished by the start of fall semester, and two new bus shuttle stops have been added. A change in traffic flow along Lightning Way will be required for motorists and pedestrian safety, with right turns only at Lightning Way and Founders Lane.

Motorists are encouraged to use the bus tracking feature from the MTSU website, so that they can easily track the location of the shuttle needed and estimated arrival time at a stop location. Bookmark http://mtsubustracking.mtsu.edu to take advantage of this feature.

Bell Street permit changes

Another parking change for students includes roughly half of the Bell Street parking lot now being designated for students who live in campus housing. These spaces will be available only to students with red permits and are now separated by a row of yellow metal barriers.

Bicycle registration

MTSU continues to encourage the use of bicycling on campus for health and safety reasons. Parking Services is now handling all bicycle registration for fall 2014.  All bicycle riders on campus are being encouraged to register their bikes at the Parking Services website, http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/index.php.

Parking Services is located in 1403 E. Main St. The phone number is 898-2850. The office is open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)