Parking headaches on the campus of East Carolina University have led to a student petition in protest of recent changes. But an ECU administrator on Monday explained the modifications were put into effect to accommodate continued campus growth.

In an interview Friday with WNCT television, nursing student Kim Cardoza, said the changes affect parking on the main campus where she works and on the health sciences campus where she attends classes.

"One, we don't have enough parking as it is, and two, we are not allowed to park here on (main) campus, which people who have jobs like myself or want to utilize the larger library that is (open) 24 hours are not going to be able to do unless they park at Minges Coliseum and then have to take a bus," Cardoza said.

Cardoza said she was told she could purchase a pass for main campus to use for work. However, it would be an additional $300. She already has purchased a parking pass for the B-4 lot on health science campus, according to the WNCT report.

Deb Garfi, ECU parking services director, said that people who have day classes on the health sciences campus and then work on the main campus in the evening are rare. A permit is available for $300, but is for commuter students to park in commuter lots, then park in the “A” zones during evenings and weekends, she said.

Garfi urged Cardoza to contact her to see if some arrangement can be worked out to accommodate her needs.

The parking issues at the health sciences campus revolve around the addition of the new student center and accompanying additions of visitor parking spaces, said Bill Koch, associate vice chancellor for environmental health and campus safety.

The west campus includes the School of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the School of Dental Medicine and the Brody School of Medicine.

“Our student affairs people want to have the ability to bring people in from the (main) campus and afford access to both student centers, so we created spaces for that,” Koch said. “And (we) are always looking for ways to better utilize existing space, including for our clinical operations.”

Inevitably, most available spots on west campus are furthest away from the health sciences buildings, including a large lot near the intersection of Fifth Street and Moye Boulevard adjacent to the medical school but within sight of the health sciences/nursing school building.

“We want to provide less expensive options to our students, staff and faculty, so we have some “B” zones mixed in on the health sciences campus,” Koch said. “It’s furthest from buildings there, but it’s still walkable. Every time we get tighter, we push people a little further out.”

ECU has a shortage of parking spaces, particularly on the main campus with no real way to satisfy student and faculty needs, so it will promote a mass transit culture to meet transportation requirements, Koch told the ECU Board of Trustees at its April meeting.

“We have about 1,000 parking spaces on campus and our core demand is about 10,000-plus, so there’s just no way to accommodate that no matter how many garages we build,” Koch said. “The best option for the growing city campus is the university’s transit system. We just have to make sure people understand that’s a good option.”

Contact Michael Abramowitz at or 252-329-9507.