I have been working in the Main Building at main campus since 2007. In the years since I was hired, I have noticed a dangerous trend of drivers parked in the fire lane and NO PARKING zones around the Main Building. My office used to be on the first floor and I could sit and watch during my lunch hour. Some of these drivers are parked for up to thirty minutes while they wait to pick someone up. I’ve witnessed larger vendor vehicles that need room to maneuver the narrow streets, trapped by careless people parked on the side of the road in front of the Business Building and in the roundabout in front of the Main Building.
It always worried me that one day first responders would come flying down the road toward the Main Building and would be met with a maze of parked and unattended vehicles. What if I was in danger? Would these people get out of the way? Would police, fire and paramedics be able to reach me in time? Or would they waste precious seconds negotiating with inconsiderate drivers parked along the road and clearly marked NO PARKING zones/fire lanes.
Well, today it finally happened. At approximately 2:20pm on Wednesday, February 13, I witnessed a UTSA police officer and an ambulance arrive on the east side of the Main Building. What drew me to this scene was the loud sound of the police officer on his intercom addressing a gold SUV to move out of the fire lane. There was no one in the SUV so the officer and ambulance drove around it and parked further along the curb.
I peeked outside my office and noticed a woman approaching the gold SUV get in and move the vehicle. What was so important to her that she couldn’t park her vehicle in a designated parking spot? There were several available spaces nearby. Was her time more important than the well-being of the person that ambulance was here for?
How can this issue be dealt with on campus? I know it’s not just the Main Building and Business Building that deals with this “street parking”. Is there a safe alternative for people waiting to pick up passengers? I hope so, because I don’t want to be waiting on critical emergency services because someone can’t be bothered to better coordinate their pick-up time or simply didn’t want to park in a space 100 feet further away.