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Parking committee offers final recommendations

| Friday, February 3, 2017

University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves convened a parking committee in February 2016 made up of faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students. They analyzed four specific aspects of parking on campus: the on-campus shuttle service, surface lot parking, the possibility of a parking garage and the reserved parking pilot program.

Final recommendations were submitted at the end of November and shared with students in an email Wednesday from Affleck-Graves. At first priority was the shuttle. The committee suggested changes such as combining the current routes into one route that accesses the majority of campus, investing in shuttle technology advancements, improving shuttle system visibility and continuing to use an outside vendor for shuttle services, instead of a University-owned shuttle service.

The construction of a parking garage came in as the second priority and the committee suggested the University build a 1,000- to 1,200-car parking garage in the vicinity of Legends. This garage would be open to faculty, staff and students that would have to pay a daily or hourly rate. Overnight parking would not be permitted.

As for surface lots, a proposal was made for a new paved surface lot in 2018 following the demolition of the O’Hara-Grace apartments. They also suggested a new paved surface lot on the green space east of Innovation Park. Increased technology and short-term parking were among topics discussed in regards to these surface lots.

The committee also considered the possibility of a bike-sharing program but has not come up with any definitive plans other than to further explore the option. As for the reserved parking pilot program, the committee will gather more input from faculty and staff before making recommendations on the program.

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  • We missed this issue. However, we are not surprised that the committee listed as the first priority a reworking of the shuttle service. However, as we are seeing more and more, close-in parking is a key issue, at VA hospitals and on campuses, with emphasis on safety, too. However, what we offer is likely the safest, greenest, most compact, quick drop off and retrieval, and life-cycle cost-effective parking garage technology anywhere. With regard to not allowing parking overnight, I am not sure why that is the recommendation. Vehicles are secure and no one physically can enter the garage envelope — not patrons or criminals — thereby eliminating sexual assault, suicide, and theft. We would like to offer a proposal — a smaller footprint and/or twice or more spaces in the same volume as a regular garage, with 55% less life-cycle costs and 95% fewer GHGs, with a façade that matches the environment — no “lipstick on a pig.” Please visit http://www.roboticparking.com and see my White Paper at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Robotic-Parking-Systems-Inc-White-Paper-Safer-Cleaner-More-Compact-Parking-Garage-Solution. Look for the word “Download.”