COVID-19: The Cure to UMSL's Parking Pandemic
Updated: Sep 13
By Ajay Rana, Abie Groes, Zach Bayly, Charlie Thorn
On UMSL’s campus, it seems that one of the top areas affected is student parking. According to several students, the status of parking on or near campus was drastically worse pre-pandemic than it is now, and with classes reverting to being in-person, decent on-campus parking spots are proving harder and harder to come by.
“Last year, there were open spaces everywhere. This year it’s a lot more crowded, I have to kind of get here earlier,” says Ayana Weissenfluh, a junior transfer student at UMSL.
“In 2019, if you got here any time after 9:30, you had to park in the garage [near the library],” says senior and student body president Joe Methner. “[Compared to] last year? It’s probably worse.”
Parking Garage located near the Thomas Jefferson Library
Another freshman we interviewed has not been on campus for very long, but they also have issues with student parking. “For the time that I’ve been here, I’ve had a little bit of a problem just because of how compact everything is,” they reported. “The signs on south campus are not big enough or pronounced enough. But there’s faculty-staff parking, and I park in their spot.”
Students also seem to share the same or similar opinions when it comes to the best spots for parking on campus. The majority of students interviewed agreed that the best place to park on campus is either in the parking lot right outside of the Millenium Student Center, or in the parking garages found immediately across the street. Methner stated, “If you can get a spot, definitely [park] in the MSC parking lot.”
Another senior student interviewed agrees that the Millenium Student Center parking lot and garage is the best place to be, and they have “never had any issues with it, if I get there early enough.” They also stated that they “have noticed the road leading up to the garage is sometimes crowded, but I go into the parking garage anyways.”
Parking Lot located near the Millenmum Student Center
Students interviewed also agree on the worst spot to park on campus: the parking garage near the library. The general consensus was that the specific garage is always full and hard to get a spot, and if you are able to find a spot it will usually be near the top of the building. If students aren’t at the garage early enough to get a decent spot, they’ll have to park on the road leading up to the building.
Parking lot I and road located near the Anheuser-Busch Hall
The state of parking on campus, though it seems not to be ideal, is at least better than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Many classes are still offered online, reducing the in-person attendance required for most courses. However, as classes are returning to being in-person, and with the approximate on-campus student enrollment going from 15,000 in Fall of 2020 to 16,000 in the Fall 2021 semester, we could easily assume that the status of parking will not improve as things return to normal following the pandemic.
Here below is supplementary information regarding parking at UMSL.