Letter to the Editor

By Norm Chambers, Director, Auxiliary Services


The Daily Utah Chronicle’s Oct. 26 House Editorial, “Students Pay for U Officials’ Blunder,” was mistaken. It looks as though you may not have had all of the facts.

We know how important this issue is to our students, and we are working hard to address it.

Beginning Nov. 25, 2001, and continuing through approximately March 31, 2002, the Salt Lake Olympic Committee’s preparations for the upcoming 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games will result in the temporary loss of approximately 3,200 of our parking spaces on main campus.

Fortunately, the Utah Transit Authority’s new light rail TRAX service to the University of Utah will be up and running on Dec. 15. This will greatly expand our transit options.

Students, faculty and staff ride UTA free with their U Cards. Campus shuttle buses from the Rice-Eccles Stadium station will get people where they need to go on campus.

The “2002 Campus Commuter Survival Guide” is intended to let people know about this challenge and to encourage them to use other commuting options rather than driving alone to campus.

We have been working hard to find temporary overflow parking. The proposal to build a temporary parking lot on the parcel of land south of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery was a good idea that should have happened.

We appreciate the neighborly cooperation we received from the Mt. Olivet Cemetery Association. We did not become aware of Salt Lake City’s zoning restrictions until we applied for a permit. Unfortunately, this occurred after the “2002 Campus Commuter Survival Guide” was already printed.

The “2002 Campus Commuter Survival Guide” was produced entirely on campus. It includes two maps, one listing the major UTA routes to the U and one summarizing SLOC’s use of our campus parking lots.

In addition to showing the Mt. Olivet temporary parking lot, the map included a statement indicating that it was an overview that was intended for general planning only and is subject to change.

Nevertheless, I regret having listed the Mt. Olivet temporary parking lot on the map. An updated version of the “2002 Campus Commuter Survival Guide” is available on our Web site www.parking.utah.edu.

Additional temporary overflow parking will be provided between Nov. 25, 2001 and March 31, 2002. We have made arrangements to modify the traffic flow on a couple of campus roadways to provide additional parking, and we have requested permission from the Salt Lake City Traffic Department to temporarily park along the sides of Guardsman Way and on some of the streets in Research Park. We will also provide shuttle service to remote parking lots.

Transportation and Parking Director, Alma Allred and I appreciate the cooperation and enthusiastic support we are receiving from the staff of the Associated Students of the University of Utah, the Utah Transit Authority, Parking Services, Shuttle Services, University Communications, Olympic Coordination, Facilities, Student Affairs and Professor Carol Werner’s environmental behavior class.

This week we are launching a major campaign we are calling “Transit Now.” Its purpose is to inform the campus and to urge people to take UTA Bus, TRAX or carpool.

A series of advertisements will appear in The Daily Utah Chronicle. We are conducting a series of public meetings, and representatives from UTA and parking services will be staffing tables in the Union to provide commuting and parking information. We will also be distributing information in the major parking lots that are scheduled to be temporarily closed.

We can all get through this adventure if we work together.

We hope this will result in thousands more of us deciding to permanently leave our cars at home and commute to campus by transit or carpool.

Norm Chambers, Director, Auxiliary Services