By: Bob Browand
This post is part three of the Parking Preview for 2018-2019 blog series where we’re covering the major changes coming to Parking and Transportation next year. This series includes:
- Part 1: Overview of the major changes
- Part 2: An in-depth look at the new rates
- Part 3: Zone parking and the new buying process
- Part 4: Outreach events
This week we’re breaking down the zone parking program coming to student lots next year as well as how this will affect the buying process for all student permits.
Addressing the current problems
At this time, when someone buys a student permit they’re simply buying a pass to be able to search for a space amongst any of the 19 student lots on campus or at one of the Remote Campus lots.
There are areas on campus that have open spaces every day, such as lot 8A, which has not filled up once this year during the fall or spring semester. Meanwhile other lots, such as 20A, are among the first lots to fill up each day. When students get to campus and head to one of the busier lots that are already full they have to spend time driving from one lot to the next in order to find the open spaces, which can take up a lot of time.
We’ve heard students’ frustrations regarding this issue, which is why we are taking a different approach next year. Zone parking is a concept used by many large universities to spread traffic across campus parking lots more evenly and give students a clear place to go each day.
What will zone parking look like for UH
The zones at UH will range from A to F and the number of permits sold for each of these zones will be capped so that only a certain number of people can park in that area.
Each student permit will be valid in one zone plus the Remote Campus lots during regular business hours (Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Student permits will be allowed to park in the other zones after-hours (Monday-Friday after 4 p.m. and on weekends).
Parking space availability
We will be managing the number of permits sold for each zone to avoid the issue of zones filling up.
Of course, we understand there are occasionally times when many people park in the wrong lot all at once, causing it to fill up, such as the first week or two of each semester. During these rare times, keep in mind that parking at ERP and riding a campus shuttle to PGH or the Student Center is the backup option.
We are working to reduce the chances of this issue occurring by making clear signage so that people won’t mistakenly park in the wrong lot, as well as increasing our enforcement next year. We’re also developing a reporting system so that people have a quick, convenient way to notify us of issues.
Travelling across campus
The Cougar Line Shuttle routes will be adapted before the fall semester in order to best accommodate this new layout. Students needing to make longer distance treks across campus are recommended to use one of the shuttles that will be available at that time, such as the recently added North/South Connector Route.
The new permit buying process
In order to best accommodate students’ permit choices with the new Zone Parking Program, we’ll be adapting the permit buying process.
Everyone will still go to their myParking Account on AccessUH to sign up for a permit. However, instead of making an immediate purchase, students will rank their permit options from most to least desired.
Parking and Transportation will begin making permit assignments from this list of registrations. Priority will be given on a first come, first served basis so if someone signs up for a lot after it’s full, they will get the next permit assignment available from their list.
We've listed the steps to walk students through this new process on our Student Permit Registration Process page.
We highly recommend that students register for their permits as soon as possible after registration opens in April in order to have the best chance at the zone or garage they want.
With so many changes next year it’s important for everyone to understand their transportation options before making any decisions about their commute to campus. That’s why we’re holding outreach events throughout March and April so that everyone has a chance to hear about these changes, understand them and ask questions. These events will include town halls, college building visits and outdoor pop-up events to ensure that we reach as much of the campus in-person as possible.
We’ll provide a full list of outreach events in next week’s blog post an on our Parking Outreach page. In the meantime, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information regarding the Parking Changes for 2018-2019.