Starting this month, new regulations for paid parking areas will be enforced after the President’s Committee approved the motion last December.
The fee for all pay lots including the admissions meter lot, lakeside visitor lot, and parking structure has been reduced from $2 to $1 hourly, with a $10 daily maximum rate.
All pay lots will also now require payment from 5 A.M. to 10 P.M, although parking in student lots will continue to be free of cost after 5 P.M.
The new parking garage was built on a bond that the university is estimated to take 20 years to repay. The fee reductions and increased monitoring on the pay lots will serve as an effort to increase usage on those lots, according to Facilities Associate Vice President Jim Michaelis.
“Parking services is soft-funded, meaning there is no funding from the state that goes toward parking,” Michaelis said. “Decreasing the hourly rates of pay lots will generate more money that can go toward improving parking and possibly constructing more parking structures in the future.”
Students may also anticipate less space at the parking garage in the spring when the new health and wellness center opens. Upon complete construction, the health and wellness center will be directly connected with the parking garage. Visitors of the center will most likely choose to park in the new garage, leaving less available space for students to park.
Almost 70 percent of parking availability at UVU is dedicated to student parking, according to a 2012 report by parking services. Currently, there are nearly 32,000 students attending UVU and less than 6,000 available student parking stalls.
The classroom building has made it difficult for students with yellow passes to find parking spaces because it occupies a significant portion of what was once yellow permit parking.
One of the major complaints is the need to pay for a parking place in the parking structure when one has already paid for a parking pass.
“Parking at UVU is horrible,” senior Abby Klingman said. “I’ve never used the parking structure before, but sometimes, even with my yellow pass I can’t find parking because there are no spaces left. I can see how easy it is for students to feel forced into paying for parking, even if they bought a pass.”
The current lack of space has put pressure on parking services and the facilities department to planning to add more parking spaces. Although the wellness center is expected to increase traffic around campus, revenue collected from the increased use of pay lots will have a direct effect on improving parking for students.
“We definitely need more free spaces,” freshman Cory Hancock said. “But the fact that the people who pay for parking passes can’t find spaces is pretty ridiculous. I don’t think I’ll use the parking garage even with the lowered cost.”
Parking services has several concepts for improving parking, though none are currently in the works. Unless parking services adds another source of revenue, students shouldn’t expect any new parking structures for another 10-15 years.
Photo by Laura Fox