Parking Permits: Several Choices and Changes

May 04, 2016


photo of parking lot 11​Members of the campus community who want to order parking permits for the upcoming academic year will find new technology, more options and changes in the cost structure for most groups.

Rather than waiting in line to pay at the cashier’s office, everyone in need of parking should visit, and follow the easy, step-by-step instructions to purchase a permit, which will arrive in the mail within 10 days of ordering. It’s important to list the correct mailing address when completing the application and to order in a timely fashion, said University Police Lt. Clint Strode. If the permit is to be delivered on campus, it is important to include the recipient’s name and department.

“You don’t want to be without a permit on the first day of the semester and be stressed trying to straighten things out,” Strode said. “There’s no need for that to happen as long as you allow enough time and indicate where you want your permit to be mailed. Every semester we have a small number of people who come to the University Police Department to try to make arrangements because they don’t have a permit.”

Students will catch a break starting in the fall when it comes to how long their permits last. Fall semester permits will also cover the winter intersession, and spring permits will be valid through the summer. In addition, students who are on campus only after 4 p.m. will be able to purchase an evening permit for half the regular cost. And for one-third the cost, students will have the option to order an economy permit for use in 400 designated spaces. This summer, Facilities Services will mark these economy parking areas in the west end of Lot 2, the north end of Lot 7, the east side of Lot 8 and all of Lot 11A.

“Students who want to save money and don’t mind walking a little farther to class now have options, but they need to know that the economy permits will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so if they’re interested, they should not delay,” Strode said. “The University understands that not all students have the same needs, and that is reflected in the new parking permit options.”

By state law, parking must be self-supporting, which means that fees need to cover wages for parking personnel, vehicles and other equipment, as well as maintenance and upgrades. New, single-day permit dispensers that accept credit cards are one such upgrade.

“We recognize that visitors and those who want to park on campus only on given days don’t always have cash on hand, so using a credit card can make the process easier,” Strode said. Debit cards that can act as credit cards may be used as well, but those that require a PIN cannot be used. The dispensers, which were installed over the spring break, also allow the use of special event codes. These codes may be purchased by event coordinators in advance and will allow attendees to receive a day pass from the dispenser without payment.

The annual monthly cost of permits has increased for most groups. The increase, if any, for union members was negotiated during the collective bargaining process.

A new parking structure, capable of holding 400 vehicles, could be on the horizon to the extent that demand for parking increases. The lot, which would be operational no sooner than 2022, would be funded by Parking Services revenue, following the self-support model.

“It is too soon to know whether such a lot will be needed, but it is good to have the ability to provide adequate parking,” Strode said. “When the lots are full, students are pushed out into the surrounding community to find parking. Pedestrian traffic crossing major roadways, such as Monte Vista, Geer or Christofferson, is a safety concern. We would much rather have our faculty, staff and students park safely on the campus.”