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Park-ageddon: Clemson loses over 850 parking spots for spring semester

Clemson Athletics // Courtesy

The Tiger Walk will have lights to stay lit at night during the on and off seasons.

From Nov. 28, 2022, to Aug. 1, 2023, Clemson University will close the entirety of the Lot 5 parking facility, according to Clemson Athletics.
Lot 5 includes over 850 parking spaces. The majority of the lost parking accommodations are commuter spaces in Lot C-3, utilized by students who reside off-campus. There are also additional west residence and employee parking spots lost due to the closure. 
Clemson Athletics confirmed that the University plans to remodel the parking lot to create a more enhanced tailgating experience, an improved visual scenery and a new sidewalk for the football team’s Tiger Walk. 
The Tiger Walk is a Clemson tradition in which the football team walks sharply dressed over 100 yards through a crowd of fans to Memorial Stadium to get ready for the game. Head football coach Dabo Swinney describes the Tiger Walk as “five minutes of intense interaction with the fan base. When you walk through Tiger Walk, there is no way you can’t be ready to play.”
“This project is part of the two-phase stadium enhancement project first approved in 2019, which included a number of features to provide year-round utility and enhance the gameday experience,” said Eric Sabin, associate athletic director for capital projects.
“Lot 5/C-3 Renovations are not only due to beautification but also for the safety and security of one of the most utilized parking lots year-round. New lighting, security cameras and safe pedestrian pathways running both North/South as well as East/West are included in the project,” said Sabin.
The University has already completed phase one, a portion of the new Tiger Walk entrance, consisting of a brick plaza and tiger statue, near the Perimeter Road entrance to C-3. This plaza provides a place for the team buses to pull off that doesn’t affect traffic on Perimeter Road, improving traffic on game day.
696 parking spaces will still be available for use after renovations are complete, with Clemson planning to return them to commuter service next fall.
However, even after the completion of Tiger Walk, the C-3 lot will permanently lose over 170 spots. Until additional parking spots are created, students are encouraged to carpool, take public transportation or utilize Clemson’s park-and-ride service to get to campus.
The University plans to create additional parking locations for students, according to Clemson Athletics. Lot 12, a gravel lot located near the Madren Center, will house 220 parking spots for students and will be added to the Tiger Transit route. Clemson also plans to partially convert the R-10 residential lot into an off-campus commuter lot. 
One of the primary objectives of the remodel is to align Tiger Walk to come directly out of the Oculus. It is also planned to pull out the berms on the side to make them less steep and create a more inviting environment. 
While the 21 existing trees are planned to be cut down, they are set to be replaced with 115 trees in healthier living conditions.
The embankment on the south side of the lot will see substantial improvement, with the slope being reduced and a new network of sidewalks being added to provide a new park area near the stadium.

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