The U Continues to Limit Parking as Students Form a Petition

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The U Continues to Limit Parking as Students Form a Petition

Pay lot kiosk in the Union Parking Lot. Chronicle archives.

Pay lot kiosk in the Union Parking Lot. Chronicle archives.

Curtis Lin

Pay lot kiosk in the Union Parking Lot. Chronicle archives.

Curtis Lin

Curtis Lin

Pay lot kiosk in the Union Parking Lot. Chronicle archives.

By Stephany Cortez

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The University of Utah has been eliminating centralized parking for the last five years. The centralized parking spaces that have since been eliminated allowed students to park in close proximity to their classrooms and provided them with less of a commute back to their vehicles. In fall 2018, almost 33,000 students were attending the U. As the student population will likely continue to increase, many are concerned about the issue of parking on campus.

“The parking spaces being removed are generally U spaces,” said C. Kinkade Darling, a master’s student studying finance and information systems. “These spaces are generally meant to house commuter vehicles. Our campus is predominantly a commuter campus. The reason students are increasingly concerned is that it affects them immediately.”

Parking passes are available for purchase from Commuter Services, where a U permit for the fall semester alone is $150. For the 2019-2020 academic school year, U permits are sold for $270, which is $10 more than in 2018. (Commuter services plans to increase the price of the pass by $10 every academic year.) U permits are sold for the remainder of the academic year at a prorated cost, and are only usable within U stalls and some specially designated A stalls after 3 p.m. Parking at the U is generally filled at peak times during the day, and U stalls have only become increasingly more difficult to find, leaving students, staff and visitors to circle campus until they are able to find a parking spot.

Many students have expressed their concerns with the U’s correspondence to their complaints on unfair penalties in response to supposed parking violations and have started a petition.

“I used to have a parking permit, but there is so much limited spacing,” said Tiffany Wimer, a senior at the U majoring in environmental and sustainability studies. “Having a permit appeared like a waste of money because I would have to park on upper campus and after I was able to find a parking spot, I would be late to class. And like many students after classes, I would go to work, but I work at the Law School, and it frightened me as a woman to walk back to my car late at night just because that was the only U parking available.”

“This is an important student issue for the fact that it does affect many of us who commute. Some of us take late courses. Many students feel unsafe walking campus late and if they have to walk nearly a mile to their vehicle late at night, it only causes unrest,” Darling said. “It’s also important for students to voice their opinions. This petition shows that we do care about what the University does with its property. We would only hope they take account of our concerns as well.”

The petition is currently gathering signatures in support of policy changes in student parking and fine distribution on the U campus.

 

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