During his 15-year tenure as TCU’s Chief of Police, Steve McGee has faced many issues. Perhaps one of his greatest challenges has been that of on-campus parking for students, faculty and staff. In an effort to develop solutions to this problem, McGee has taken a unique approach8212;when traveling to college campuses all across the country he checks parking lots while on family vacations in search of inspiration to brainstorm ideas.
Q: How did you get the idea to look at parking situations in campuses all over the country?
A: “When we go to conferences, I talk to other police chiefs and directors of security. We compare problems we are having and share information.”
Q: What other schools have you looked at?
A: “I’ve been everywhere: SMU, Baylor, Rice, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Princeton, Bradford, College of Charleston, Southern California…”
Q: What ideas have you taken from other schools and implemented here at TCU?
A: “We started the shuttle service a few years ago when the school grew and parking became a problem for commuters. We have also zoned the parking. In the past, parking lots have been mixed and there has been a lot of confusion. Now, all the lots are for one group only.”
Q: Will there be any new changes in the near future?
A: “Our long term goal is to put GPS on the shuttles and have a display monitor at the bus stop so you will know where the bus is and how long you will have to wait. That’s what we’re working on right now.”
Q: What are the issues with building a parking garage on campus?
A: “Cost is the biggest issue. To make it cost effective, you have to build up. We can’t do that because of city ordinance and height restrictions. Also, safety is a big issue. Parking garages are notorious for having crime problems.”
Q: What is the biggest thing you have learned from your trips to all these campuses?
A: “I have found, on most college campuses, people walk. At every inner-city college, parking is always an issue and you’re going to have to walk. The college mentality is green space and walking.”