Games Will Take U Parking

Between Nov. 25 and March, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee will use about 30 percent of main campus parking spaces.

In addition, access to many parts of campus will be limited.

While the U has prepared pamphlets with information about lot closures and limited access on campus, not everyone is aware of the situation. Here is a quick look at what changes are coming, and some possible solutions to deal with the problems.

Starting today, part of South Campus Drive, by Rice-Eccles Stadium, is closed. It will remain open up to the Field House.

On Nov. 25, the stadium lot closes?1,250 spots will be lost. According to Director of Auxiliary Services Norm Chambers, about 10,000 parking spots will be left on campus. “[SLOC] will have 13 percent of our spaces,” he said.

Preparations for Spring Semester and the Olympic Games will follow.

When classes begin Jan. 3, about 22 percent of total parking will be lost to SLOC. By Jan. 9, one-third will be out of use.

Semester break will be from Feb. 2 to Feb. 26, and classes resume on Feb. 27.

The Opening Ceremony for the Olympics is set for Feb. 8, and the Closing Ceremony for Feb. 24. Following will be preparations for the Paralympics.

Chambers, however, is not worried about parking problems during the Games, during which time there should not be much student traffic. Also, spectators are told that there is no parking near or on campus. He hopes transportation via bus will increase.

“Our real concern is before and after,” Chambers said.

On Feb. 4, all offices on campus will be closed during a pre-dress rehearsal for Opening Ceremony. On Feb. 6, 8 and 24, there will be limited access to Wasatch Drive because of Olympic preparations. However, 100 South will remain open at all times for access to University Hospital, Chambers said.

Although the Olympics end on Feb. 24, the Paralympics follow with the Opening Ceremony set for March 7. SLOC will retain a portion of the U’s parking until the end of March.

March 7 is the day which “gives me the most stress,” Chambers said. SLOC has control of about 29 percent of the U’s parking. However, by 2 p.m. they will take about 47 percent of the parking spaces.

“Solutions are a lot more intricate than immediately meets the eye,” said Alma Allred, director of parking services.

According to Allred, having plentiful, convenient and inexpensive parking all at the same time is virtually impossible because of limited space.

Every day, about 35,000 people come to campus, 6,000 of which ride the bus, Allred said. What’s left is 29,000 people parking in about 13,000 spots.

Administrators want more reliance on light rail, buses or car-pooling.

“We could accommodate more if there was sharing,” Allred said.

The use of light rail will be available on Dec. 15. From Monday through Saturday, it will run from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Sunday’s schedule will be from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

During February, light rail will run until 1 a.m. However, on Feb. 6, 8 and 24, it will stop running by 1 p.m. for safety concerns during the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

According to Chambers, shuttle service is also being expanded. Three routes will run “anytime after TRAX opens,” at a rate of one every 15 minutes.

While alternate transportation is an option, a quicker, more temporary solution is additional parking.

By Nov. 26, there will be some temporary spots available. “We received permission to park along Guardsman Way,” Chambers said. This creates about 500 stalls for E, U and A parking permit holders.

From Nov. 25 to March 31, Wasatch Drive changes to one-way northbound traffic and Federal Way to one-way westbound to provide additional overflow parking, creating about 370 additional stalls.

On the west side of the remaining section of South Campus Drive, the U will create 100 stalls.

Additionally, 148 stalls will be available in the business lot for U permit holders, and 50 extra spots will be in miscellaneous areas across campus

Overall, temporary parking additions will give the U up to 1,170 spaces.

Some lots will remain exclusive university parking. The lots adjacent to Ballif, Van Cott and Austin halls are reserved for Heritage Commons residents who relocate to accommodate the Olympic Village on Dec. 15. Health sciences parking availability will not be reduced.

By the end of March, SLOC will return “most lots,” and by May, SLOC will begin any repairs necessary, Chambers said.