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As the second-largest school in the nation, it may come as no surprise that parking on UCF’s main campus can be a headache.

The Central Florida Future conducted a week-long anonymous survey among students to investigate some issues that may arise due to parking.

Of the 686 students who participated in the survey, it was determined that it takes many students — about 40 percent of the participants — somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes to find a parking spot.

Survey results also showed that 74 percent of participants have missed class entirely because they could not find a parking spot, and 60 percent said that their grades have been negatively affected because of parking.

To avoid such issues, 52 percent of participants said they have resorted to parking off campus in the anticipation of not finding a parking spot, and 54 percent said they have parked illegally in order to make it to class on time.

With these results in mind, the following question has been raised: Is parking really that scarce?

University spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala said UCF currently has 18,667 parking spaces available to students.

Additionally, there are 350 parking spaces available at the softball field as part of the park-and-ride program.

At the time of publication, UCF had sold 36,161 student parking permits so far this school year — almost double the number of spaces that are available.

However, these numbers do not account for students, faculty and staff who do not buy parking permits or who opt to pay for parking daily or by using the parking meters.

The number of permits might also increase as some students opt to purchase permits later in the semester.

Though UCF has sold almost double the number of parking permits than parking spaces available, the need for more parking is not being ignored.

“We are continually evaluating [parking] needs,” Gonzalez Kotala said. “We are extending Garage C by 600 spaces. Construction is to start in November and [will] be done by summer 2016.”

In addition to the 600 new spaces, Gonzalez Kotala said UCF will be recovering about 100 parking spaces in the D1 parking lot once construction for the Global UCF building at Memory Mall is completed in January.

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Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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