Finding scooter parking on UF’s campus for Daniel Chalco proved to be a challenge. Scooters bumped together, parked over the lines and in the middle of the road were a common sight every morning before class.
“You basically had to shove your scooter around,” the 20-year-old UF computer engineering sophomore said. “It was just awful. We definitely needed more parking for scooters.”
Student Body President Smith Meyers said problems Chalco saw were a common complaint that students told him when he ran for president last Spring. To solve this, a new scooter lot across from Library West and Plaza of the Americas on Newell Drive will open today. The space for the lot came from moving the bike racks previously located on the lot.
“Being that it was one of the most heavily concentrated spots on campus, it was a good place for expansion,” Meyers said. “I think the University of Florida does its best to answer student needs and we were able to advocate that this was a real need.”
Depending on how students fit their scooters, the new lot can hold about 45 to 55 scooters, Meyers said.
The cost for the new lot was paid by the UF Transportation and Parking Services and costed about $350, said Ron Fuller, the assistant director of Transportation and Parking Services.
The cost came from labor as workers temporarily moved bicycle racks and painted the lines on the new lot, Fuller said. The money did not come from student fees because parking services is an auxiliary from the university, it gets money from the payment of parking citations, decals, event parking and more.
“We’re happy to accommodate the students and expand (scooter parking) and make it a little less problematic to find a place to park,” Fuller said.
Meyers said he’s been meeting with the UF Transportation and Parking Services since the beginning of his term and said students identified there was a need for more scooter parking close to Library West.
“If there’s a need for more scooter parking on different locations on campus, then I’m more than happy to look into it,” he said.
Meyers said he wants to see if this new lot will meet the needs of students before they continue to expand to another possible location off of 13th street, close to Little Hall. But so far, he said students have responded positively about the expansion.
Chalco, who has been driving his scooter since last Fall, said he’s glad the scooter expansion is conveniently close to Library West and Marston Science Library and will save him the typical seven minutes it took him to park during Fall semester.
“It’s very helpful,” he said. “It’s very easily accessible to students.”
New scooter parking is being constructed near the Chemistry Lab Building and is supposed to be open for the first day of classes, according to student body president Smith Meyers, to provide additional parking to the Library West scooter area.