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Addressing Zone Parking Concerns

By: Bob Browand

We understand there are some questions and concerns regarding Zone Parking that have come up the past few days and we wanted to make sure these are addressed directly.

Please take a look through the list of concerns and responses for more information on these items. Also, consider stopping by our Parking Forum on April 18 that we will be holding in the Student Center Skyline Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to address parking concerns. This event has been added to our Outreach Events page.

  1. We are paying more money to have less parking options.
  2. Some students need flexibility to move between classes, as their classes are scattered.
  3. The current shuttles don’t cover all of the zones or the hours of classes.
  4. Residential students need the flexibility to park by their residence and class.
  5. Zones will hinder students who come to campus later in the day.
  6. We want parking to stay the way it was.

 

  1. We are paying more money to have less parking options.

Zone Parking and price increases are two separate issues.

The permit prices were increasing the same amount regardless of whether or not Zone Parking would be implemented. The rate increase is primarily due to our cost of increasing shuttle service and debt acquired from increasing parking spaces on campus. For more details on this, please view our previous blog post about the rate increases.

Zone Parking was developed to address student complaints about the time it takes to find an open space on campus. The purpose of Zone Parking is to address this problem by giving students a clear place to go every day to find a space and limiting the traffic going to each zone so that students can rely on showing up to their zone and finding a space instead of spending time driving around campus looking for where to park.

Students still have the permit options they had before – garages, surface lots and Remote Campus (economy option) - but now the surface lots are broken up into zones. Making this change does not decrease the number of parking spaces on campus or total number of permits that can be issued. 

 

  1. Some students need flexibility to move between classes, as their classes are scattered.

Students have expressed for the last several years that lots are full in the middle of the day, so the flexibility to move between classes throughout the day between classes hasn’t been there regardless.

If your classes are spread out, we do have a shuttle route called the North/South Connector that circulates the campus. All current campus shuttle times and routes will be re-evaluated before the fall semester in order to meet the needs of the zones.

If you experience a major location change on campus from one semester to the next, you do have the option to purchase the other zone and return your permit or sign up for a waitlist if that zone is sold out. If the other permit option isn’t available, we recommend taking advantage of the North/South Connector Route, which will bring you closer to your destination. 

 

  1. The current shuttles don’t cover all of the zones or the hours of classes.

The current North/South Connector route does circulate the campus, as seen on the map of the route.

All current campus shuttle times and routes will be re-evaluated before the fall semester and adjusted as needed with the changes coming from Zone Parking being implemented.

In addition, specific zones are only in effect Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Therefore, student permits will still allow you to park in other zones after 4 p.m. Monday – Friday and all day on weekends.

 

  1. Residential students need the flexibility to park by their residence and class.

Although this is a departure from how things used to be, residential students do have to choose where they want to park during the day - close to their residence on campus or close to their classes.  

While we understand that students want to be able to park both by their residence on campus and by their classes, our reality as an urban land-locked campus is that we have to utilize our resources in the most efficient way possible.

Many universities restrict residential students to parking at an off-site location to make room for those commuting from a distance that need to park near campus. We are trying to avoid that situation here but we are asking residential students to choose whether they prefer to be in one zone or the other during the day.

We offer multiple campus shuttle routes that have stops by residential locations and bring them closer to their destination on campus. These routes will be evaluated for the fall semester to make sure they fit the needs of Zone Parking. In addition, permits can be used for other zones after 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and all day on weekends.

 

  1. Zones will hinder students who come to campus later in the day.

Actually, this issue is exactly what Zone Parking is designed to improve. The main issue students have currently is that they have trouble finding a space when they get to campus during peak campus hours (late morning to early afternoon). Zone Parking addresses this issue in several ways.

Zones spread out the traffic, and make better use of under-utilized parking areas.

At this time, we have ample open spaces every day in certain lots, such as 8A. Students don’t know these spaces are there and claim that all spaces are full on campus when in reality, they’re going to the popular lots and all fighting for the same spaces. Zone Parking spreads out this traffic.

Zones gives students a reliable place to go every day.

We are capping the number of permits sold for each zone so that students can rely on being able to go to their zone and park.

 

  1. We want parking to stay the way it was.

Zone Parking is being put in place to provide a solution to the most common concern we have heard from students – that finding a parking space is difficult.

Our department will continue to encourage an open dialogue with faculty, staff and students so that we can always adapt and improve services. 

We make regular posts on our Word on the Street blog where we have a comments section under each post for feedback. We also make regular posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hold outreach events to encourage constructive dialogue with students throughout the year. We also hold monthly meetings with our Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC) made up of faculty, staff and student members so that we can understand the needs of the campus community. 

 

If you are looking for more information, please take a look at our Permit Registration Launch Follow-up and our page of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Parking and Transportation changes for 2018-2019.

Also, please stop by our Parking Forum on April 18 that we are holding in the Student Center Skyline Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to address parking concerns. More information about the event will be added to our Outreach Events page shortly.

 

posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2018