Minor Meltdown

The Sam Houston Parking Garage – after two weeks of on-and-off computer problems which have affected the entry and exit gates – should be back in normal service within 10 days.

“We’re getting close,” said Dennis Culak, Chief of the University Police Department and director of public safety service. “It was Sept. 5 when we started having problems again and Computer Services said they needed to start debugging the program.

“I spoke to a representative from Computer Services this morning, and hopefully we’ll be back in service sometime this week.”

While the gates are out of order, Culak said the parking garage is still open, and students with parking permits temporarily have free access to 250 spots in the garage.

“The gates are open and we’re still allowing the patrons of contract parking to be in their spots,” he said. “There was no way we could just close down the garage.”

Culak said problems with the parking garage began during the last week of August and were fixed for the first time on Sept. 4.

“Every once in a while, we develop a bug and it just has to be resolved,” he said. “Even so, I feel very confident in our Computer Services programmers that they’ll get us back up and running in seven to 10 days.”

According to Culak, problems with on-campus parking garages occur on a regular basis on numerous Texas campuses.

“We’re not the only ones in this boat,” he said. “I talked to a representative from the Stephen F. Austin University Police Department, and they’re actually having similar problems with their parking garage right now.

“It’s something that happens to everyone – if you have gates that are utilized to enter and exit a facility, you have problems of this nature.”

Even taking the problems with the parking garage into account, Culak said on-campus parking problems in general have decreased since the beginning of the semester.

“It’s business as usual,” he said. “People are starting to get into their routines, and the number of complaints we’ve gotten have reduced significantly.”

For the overcrowding the majority of parking complaints focus on, Culak said the UPD is still advocating parking in the upper stadium lots.

“We still suggest utilizing those 100 – 150 spots in the stadium parking lot that are always available,” he said.

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