Dealing with the Lack of Parking at the U

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Nearly every student and faculty member at the U share a common frustration — campus parking.

There are approximately 32,000 students, 3,000 academic staff members, and 16,000 administrative staff members at the U, but only 18,525 parking spaces. This results in a ratio of .38 on-campus spots per person.

The U released a Parking and Transportation Master Plan that assesses the demand for parking spaces in various areas of campus and analyzes what steps can be taken to improve it.

While creating the plan, Commuter Services identified key areas of frustration by collecting feedback with the help of ASUU, community members and direct student response. They also looked for elements that people liked such as trail access points that should be maintained.

The Master Plan was created in 2008 and is continually updated as the U receives student input. Commuter Services is in the process of reviewing recommendations and outlining ways to implement them.

In the past, commuter services has encouraged students to take advantage of public transportation, carpool to avoid single occupancy vehicles and walking or biking to and around campus.

While these forms of transportation are beneficial for the environment and increase the availability of parking spaces, they aren’t convenient for everyone.

“From an overall University Facilities perspective we are always looking for ways to create better access around mass transportation,” said Shireen Ghorbani, a spokesperson for Facilities Management. “We [are trying to] get people doing rideshare, taking TRAX and taking buses.”

Ghorbani said that Facilities Management is trying to accommodate students from all over the Wasatch Front. “Creating options to reduce traffic is something we are committed to.”

For students, the cost of an annual U Permit is $240. For faculty, an annual A permit is $582.

Some faculty have expressed their discontent with the cost of an A Permit and have resorted to purchasing U Permits and using spots intended for student use, creating an even higher demand for student parking.

“In six years the only thought for parking was for faculty and staff,” said Jeff Lyon, a student at the U. “The common student is just expected to deal with it.”

z.kozlowski@dailyutahchronicle.com

@zoekozlowski

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