Construction changes alter on-campus parking : Niner Times

Construction changes alter on-campus parking

| May 15, 2012

With the large amount of students and faculty members frequenting the parking decks closest to the inner campus, PaTS encourages everyone to have a backup parking deck in mind. Photo by Patrick Bogans

From the amount of commuter students who attend the university to all of the staff to the residential car-owners, there is an increasing need each year to provide parking for the ever-growing student population.

All students enrolled at UNC Charlotte can park throughout the campus. There are specific lots for commuters and others for residents, and many lots house them both.

In the upcoming semester Parking and Transportation Services (PaTS) will start implementing beneficial changes for the future of parking on campus. Before this progress can be made, however, much construction and cooperation will be needed to make this a smooth process for everyone.

“South Village” construction and its impact for highrise residents and other students

The area around the highrises is undergoing construction and will soon be designated “South Village.” Freshmen assigned to Sanford, Moore, Scott and Holshouser Halls should be aware of the impact this new construction will have on them.

The transformation will reconfigure Highrise Road and create a regional utility plant and South Village Parking Deck on Lot 8. There will also be new Phase XI housing and a new dining hall.

These changes will update and bring new amenities and services to the south side of campus. Unfortunately, the new construction will affect freshmen residents of the highrises and the campus in general in the fall semester with some temporary disruptions.

The new building projects will eliminate around two-thirds of the parking spaces in Lot 8 near the highrise residence halls. Freshmen assigned to these highrises will have to park in North Deck.

Lots 8, 8A and MSU near the highrises will have specific permits only available for purchase by upperclassmen assigned to these residence halls. These permits will be sold online and on a first-come, first-serve basis. PaTS will have a list of those who qualify to purchase the special permits and will not sell them to anyone who is not eligible.

What PaTS has been and will be doing to help ease the havoc 

Most importantly a new deck located in the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) will be open and available for parking by September. The CRI Deck will have 1,300 new parking spaces.

Additionally, until the new South Village Parking Deck is completed there will be shuttle service from North Deck to the highrises from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (except for breaks and holidays when there are no classes).

In the past students have wondered why there are more parking permits sold than there are actual spaces on campus. Primarily it is because not all students are on campus at the same time. Students come and go often throughout normal days on campus.

LouAnn Lamb, Marketing Director for Business Services, stresses that PaTS makes sure that the vehicles of parking decks and lots are consistently counted to ensure capacity is not being reached. “We do counts all the time,” Lamb said. “To make sure a minimum number of spaces are open at all times.”

PaTS also gets many complaints about enforcing parking during the first week of school. However PaTS offers for purchase $5 daily passes to aid anyone who cannot obtain a full parking permit before the beginning of the school year. These passes can be purchased in large amounts so students can get by until they decide to purchase a full parking pass.

Finally, PaTS will be using their Twitter account (@unccparking) to help aid commuters the first two weeks of school. They plan to constantly update their Twitter feeds with capacity details of different lots and decks. This will let students know the status of the decks and suggest the best places for students to park at certain times of the day.

How you can help make parking run smoothly this year

Anyone’s morning can be off to a bad start when a parking space cannot be found on campus, and though students may want to grab the closest parking spot to the center of campus, it is not always available.

Because of this PaTS strongly suggests that students who arrive later than 10 a.m. through mid-afternoon resort to parking lots on the outskirts of campus and either walk or take a shuttle to the core of the university.

There are plenty of parking spaces on campus to accommodate everyone but if spaces are not available PaTS suggests having a plan B. Keep a more remote parking lot or deck in mind when campus parking seems to be at high capacity. Arrive on campus well in advance to become familiar with a backup parking lot.

Additionally PaTS recommends that incoming freshman assigned to the highrise residence halls should consider not bringing a car to campus if possible. UNC Charlotte has a car-sharing program through Hertz on Demand for times when students would like to rent a car.

Hertz provides three vehicles on campus to rent by the hour: two Nissan Altima hybrids for $9.50 per hour or a Chevrolet Equinox for $10.50 per hour. The price includes gas and insurance for the vehicle. For students who do not need to leave campus often, renting a vehicle for the occasional outing is much cheaper than purchasing a permit for the entire semester. Carpooling with friends is also a good option.

Reasons behind the increasing prices of parking permits

The prices for parking permits on campus have risen from last year, but the percentage of the increase is much less than previous hikes from the past two years.

The steep pricing of the permits for all students, faculty and staff is based almost entirely for the cost of new parking decks and replacing flat lots with decks. The increasing enrollment and thus the increasing number of vehicles that UNC Charlotte will contain in the future will need to be accommodated. So prices will continue to go up as the demand continues to increase.

Because parking facilities are not funded by the state, the only way to raise money for new lots and decks is to raise parking permit prices.

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Category:Construction, News

Patrick Bogans Patrick is a former Community Editor and A&E editor for the Niner Times. He is pursuing a Communications major with minors in Film Studies and Journalism at UNC Charlotte. Contact him at pbogans@uncc.edu.

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Patrick Bogans Patrick is a former Community Editor and A&E editor for the Niner Times. He is pursuing a Communications major with minors in Film Studies and Journalism at UNC Charlotte. Contact him at pbogans@uncc.edu.

Twitter