Spots in New Parking Garages Projected to Cost More Than A Permits


Kiffer Creveling

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)
(Photo by Kiffer Creveling)

With recent parking changes and campus construction, finding parking on campus is harder than ever for both students and faculty.
Construction at the U has closed off three parking lots — lots 12, 34 and 24 — eliminating hundreds of parking stalls and offering few alternative spaces. The high demand for parking, coupled with the increased priced of parking permits, has left many students feeling frustrated.
Eve Olson, a sophomore in linguistics and Arabic, said last summer the parking for the honors dorms was changed to a faculty parking lot.
“I don’t know why they thought a residential lot would be better as an A-class lot, but now I have to walk half a mile in the dark to get from my car to my house,” Olson said.
Olson said it’s the amount of construction that bothers her the most.
“If they didn’t do construction on five different parking lots at once, there would actually be places to park,” she said.
Olson added that the rise in parking costs compared with the availability of parking is frustrating.
“The value of these parking spaces is not going up, so it’s very unjust the price is going up so much,” she said.
Alma Allred, director of Commuter Services, said the current loss of around 1,300 stalls was unavoidable when closing off the lots, but was necessary to add around 1,000 additional parking spaces to alleviate congestion.
“There are currently a couple hundred vacant spaces every day at the Guardsman Way parking lot,” Allred said. “That’s about the only place there are parking spaces, but they are at least parking spaces available.”
Marcella Kirschbaum, a sophomore in international studies, said she normally parks at Rice-Eccles Stadium and noticed an increase in use of the parking at the lot.
“If you’re not here by 8:30 [a.m.], you don’t have a spot,” Kirschbaum said.
Kirschbaum said she wants Commuter Services to provide better directions to alternative parking lots.
Parking construction costs do not come out of student fees and are paid for by the parking permits.
“Parking is what’s known as an auxiliary in the university,” Allred said. “We have to run the parking on a self-sustaining basis. We’ve borrowed money to build these garages, but no student is being charged unless they park, and then a portion of what their permit costs goes to pay back the debt.”
Jonathan Wasden, parking services supervisor, said the current implementation of the new parking system has been difficult, but Commuter Services is “focused on the end result and future of parking on the U campus.”
Construction is one reason parking permit prices have been on the rise. During the 2011-2012 academic year, the U permit cost $140. In the 2015-2016 school year, the U permit will cost $220. Allred said the price increase is also due to the fact that “there’s less parking than we can provide for … so if you increase the price, the demand will decrease.”
The new parking garages will be available for students, but Allred said they’ll “probably be a higher price than even the A permit.”
The construction for the new parking lots will be completed by the start of the 2015 Fall Semester, though lot 24 will remain closed until Lassonde Studios opens in 2016.
“We hoped it would be completed this coming May for the main garage in the business lot, but that’s been postponed for a couple of months,” Allred said.
Commuter Services advises commuter students to use alternative forms of travel such as biking, carpooling and public transportation until the lots are opened.
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