Growing parking & traffic problems

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Parking enforcement blocked entrance to the parking garage, permitting traffic to only those exiting the structure Jan. 12 at 11 a.m.

With 456 stalls, the five-story parking structure, located east of the SLWC, is a popular option for both UVU students and visitors. Campus is always busy early in the spring semester, but inclement weather has increased demand for each parking stall.

Parking enforcement called for the temporary closure to prevent more multi-vehicle traffic jams on the uppermost floor of the garage.

“We just had about 30 cars at the top level,” said parking enforcement officer Avery Miller. “There is not a lot of room to turn around up there.”

Drivers experienced the same pile-up on the fifth level. As vehicles maneuvered around narrow corners and attempted u-turns, cars were jammed going both directions Jan 11.

“This is the first time we have closed the garage this semester,” said parking enforcement officer Dallas Mosher. “Things get especially bad during class breaks.”

Barring entrance to the garage is not something parking enforcement expects to do often, as parking enforcement officer Hayden Hoyt explained.

“It’s probably just during the first couple weeks of the semester. Traffic usually thins out once people start dropping classes,” said Hoyt.

According to the parking services web page, the university expects higher volumes of vehicle traffic at the beginning of each semester. The web page lists three suggestions for overcoming this concern and encourages the use of the parking garage.

Complaints about parking on campus are nothing new, but as the university continues to increase its student population, students are stirring for positive change.

“I pay $90 for a yellow permit,” said Dave O’Bryant, junior emergency services and management major. “For $90, a parking spot should have my name on it.”

Other suggestions students have proposed include: UVU shuttles from specific locations around the community, dedicated parking for juniors or seniors, pedestrian tunnels and sky bridges.

“There is adequate parking available on campus,” said Barbara Young, director of Parking and Fleet Services at UVU. “We do parking checks every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m. and there are regularly over 200 student parking stalls free at that time.”

A parking check conducted Jan. 10 showed 397 available stalls. A parking check conducted Jan. 11 showed 373 spaces available. Young pointed out that parking lot M29, located east of the Gunther Trade building, consistently has the most available parking.

“I know most students view this parking lot as inconvenient,” said Young. “But if students would plan to arrive on campus even 10 minutes earlier, they could make it to class, whether they walk or use the campus shuttle.”

A bus, operated by Utah Transit Authority, rotates in a loop around campus, and stops approximately every 15 minutes. Additionally, free parking is available for students and visitors

who choose not to purchase a parking pass. This parking is located on the west side of campus in a gravel lot. A dedicated UTA bus also shuttles students between the west and main campuses approximately every 15 minutes.

“Students do not need a UTA pass to use the shuttles,” said Young. “All they need is a valid UVU student identification and the shuttles are free.”