Plans for new freeway bridge underway
Photo by Sammie Jo Raymond, Frank Young pictured above
Parking pass costs will increase, free purple lots will move and other significant parking changes will be made in the coming years, according to Frank Young, associate vice president of Facilities and Planning at the Student Voice Forum hosted outside the Grande Ballroom Nov. 16.
“We are planning a parking increase next fall,” Young said. Annual passes for the yellow lot will increase from $90 to $115. This cost increase is to encourage students to use public transportation, according to Young.
Starting fall of 2018, the free purple lot that is currently located in L-10 will be moved to the Health Professions building parking lot. According to Young, the commute should be quicker than it currently is for some students parking in L-10 because of UTA’s Bus Rapid Transit that will commute from the new purple lot to main campus every seven minutes beginning next summer.
The purpose of moving the purple lot is to allow more yellow permit parking as the student population continues to grow and to continue offering a no-cost parking option for students, according to Young.
New front row passes will also be available next fall, for a price. “This will be available to faculty, staff and students if you’re willing to pay a fee which we are negotiating with administration right now,” Young said. These passes will be sold permit by permit and will allow permit holders to have a guaranteed spot when they arrive on campus. Unauthorized vehicles in these spots will be towed by Parking Services.
The current soccer field is predicted to be replaced by parking in the next five years, according to Young. The new soccer facility will be built in the Vineyard area, which will allow for a new stadium to be built and for concessions and other amenities not currently offered at the current location to be provided.
A ground surface parking stall costs $1,500 to build compared to a parking structure stall costing $15,000, according to Young. For this reason, parking is being built out rather than up in parking garages. Parking structure stalls will continue to be paid-to-park areas.
“If we are a commuter school, pushing a bus system might not be the best option,” said student council member, Anthony Collins. “Buses don’t go everywhere.”
A pedestrian bridge connecting the freeway to lot L14 will be completed fall of 2019. There are future plans to build other campus buildings around and against the bridge structure so students can go straight from UTA to campus, according to Young.
“I don’t think they should move the free lot until we have a quicker way to get to class, like [having] the bridge all ready,” Brooke Walton, a student in attendance, said. Walton also does not think the increased price for parking will keep people from purchasing passes.