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New parking design, permit price increase expected

On May 12, 2014

Parking permit prices are expected to increase in the fall and a new labeling system for parking has been developed to simplify the design.

Parking will increase on average by 3 percent starting in the fall of 2014, said Jim Spice, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services.

Last year, parking permit prices went up 20 percent, the first increase since 2006.

Spice indicated that starting this fall permit prices will increase annually. Officials want to move in this direction to better align with other schools with similar systems in place for parking price increases.

In terms of design, the original parking layout was modeled after a wheel’s hub, with the lowest numbers relating to parking lots at the center of campus. It will be replaced in the fall with a system that relies on shapes, numbers and colors.

“People are very confused with the word ‘hub,’” Spice said. “We’re all over the place with numbers and letters.”

All parking lots will be renumbered and labeled by color and coincide with colors and shapes found on the permit. The colors and shapes will vary depending on which permit is purchased.

Spice said the changes are meant to simplify the parking design.

“I think there’s going to be a learning curve for some people who are used to the hub concept,” said William Whitfield, parking manager.

The colors are also in different shapes for those who are color-blind, Spice said.

Blue employee-only spaces will be created behind Main Hall, Dwire Hall and Mountain Lion Way. Only faculty and staff will be able to purchase these permits.

The roadway behind these buildings was originally designed as a fire lane with no parking lots.

“Throughout the past 20 years lots were added, but the roadway wasn’t designed to handle the amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic it is currently experiencing,” Spice said.

“It’s starting to become a safety issue back there,” said Spice. “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from employees to have an employee-only lot.”

Parking officials are also considering the Visual and Performing Arts Center on North Nevada Avenue, slated to begin construction next year, and the impact it will have on parking.

The building will be built on what is currently the Four Diamonds parking lot. Another lot will be built in the vicinity to handle the parking lost from Four Diamonds, Spice said.

“We’re trying to make it all as efficient a system as possible,” he said.

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