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University convenes expanded committee to reform student parking system

| Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In response to student and faculty feedback, Notre Dame convoked an expanded committee in February to reform student parking on and off campus.

According to an email sent to the student body Monday night from University Vice President John Affleck-Graves, the committee is composed of a diverse selection of members representing several groups on campus.

“I have asked the committee to put together a holistic recommendation for parking solutions long term that balances the needs and desires of the faculty, staff, students, and visitors, with the environmental and economic impacts to campus,” Affleck-Graves said in an email to The Observer. “I am hopeful that they will be able to put together a set of recommendations that will address the overall needs of the campus community.”

Affleck-Graves said he has heard growing frustrations from the Notre Dame community in regards to the parking situation.

“Parking impacts almost everyone on campus and I know that it is becoming more and more of a challenge during this period of historic growth,” Affleck-Graves said. “It was important to me to put together a long term parking plan that was developed and vetted by representatives of all of the key campus stakeholders, to ensure that multiple viewpoints and considerations are taken into account.”

According to the email, the committee met for the first time as a larger group in February, after increasing pressure from the community to reform the current parking system.

“The University had a smaller parking committee that would meet a few times a year to consider changes to parking lots, the on-campus shuttle system, and game day parking. It also had undergraduate and graduate student, faculty and staff representation, but it was a smaller committee with a proportional scope of influence,” Affleck-Graves said.

Affleck-Graves said he anticipates the new, larger committee will give him their final proposals by the end of the summer.

“I asked them to consider the following components of campus parking in particular: The reserved parking pilot program for faculty and staff, the campus shuttle system, ground parking and a parking garage,” Affleck-Graves said. “I also asked the committee to balance the environmental, social, economic and aesthetic impact of its recommendations.”

The committee has created an online form for concerned parties to submit feedback on the parking situation situation, according to the email.

“When considering each of these separately or in combination, the committee is also considering costs, locations and routes for implementation, as well as all of the varied constituent groups that utilize parking services, including faculty, staff, students and visitors,” a statement from the new website said.

“The committee welcomes your feedback to help form and recommend constructive and implementable solutions to parking on campus,” Affleck-Graves said.

According to a committee roster on the website, the group includes faculty from all of the colleges, as well as two representatives from student government, who will change April 1 when student government turns over.

“I know that it will be difficult to find a solution to parking that satisfies everyone, however I hope that you take this opportunity to offer feedback to the parking committee and help to craft a viable plan that will be equitable and addresses the overall needs of all,” Affleck-Graves said.

Editors Note: News Editor Katie Galioto contributed to this report. 

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall and is currently serving as an Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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  • Back in the mid-2000s, when the University was rolling out proposed 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50- year plans for what Campus would physically look like in the future, one constant ran through each: the slow erosion of available parking on Campus. It was mentioned then and ignored. It was mentioned again. And Again. And AGAIN. And, subsequently, ignored-Ignored-IGNORED.

    Why now? Who, as in what person or group of persons, is now experiencing being “inconvenienced”?

    If concerns raised by students, staff, and faculty over the last 10 tears have fallen on deaf ears, seems more-than-a-little suspicious this would suddenly be an issue now.

    Perhaps it’s all the “Administrators” under The Dome, as well as those to be hired to fill all that “Campus Crossroads” space, who are having their parking pinched?

  • MJ

    What is the endowment now – $10 Billion? And they ask alumni for money every year, several times a year. Yes, parking garages are expensive, but they don’t have to be ugly and maybe it’s time the University spent money on those.