Significant changes are underway for UMD campus parking, some in preparation for the eventual construction of the Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science (CAMS) Building.
One change that is immediately noticeable is the new parking permit, designed by Lisa Hansen, Assistant Director of Student Life Operations.
Students who have received parking permits this year have likely noticed the switch from a card that hangs on the rear view mirror to a vinyl window cling. Parking Services previously did not allow switching permits between cars, but with the new design that is no longer a problem. “The vinyl parking permits were designed to be removable and shared between students,” Hansen said.
In addition to parking permit alterations, Hansen is also behind many of the ideas about how to best use UMD property to benefit students, especially concerning green space. One of the major changes in parking boundaries involved the removal of concrete barriers to increase the amount of parking spaces in the pay lot and maroon lot E next to the library. Now that the barriers are removed between the two lots, sidewalk lined with trees will replace them and will extend to West St. Marie Street.
For permit lots that use a “No Parking Overnight” policy, the time that policy is enforced has been shortened. Students may now park in those lots until 2-6 a.m. This was changed to allow students to stay longer for studying and course work.
Once construction begins on the CAMS building, a portion of parking spots in maroon lot B will be removed. According to Hansen, using parking lot space is the only option for the building expansion.
“When construction is done on campus, areas with the largest amount of empty space have to be utilized, which means parking lots are the first to go.” In order to balance out the lost spaces, lot M-2 next to Malosky stadium will be expanded from 37 to 152 spaces.
In order to eliminate visitor confusion, 74 parking meters around campus that used to be on permit lots have been removed and reassigned as permit spaces. For meter spaces that still exist, pay-by-phone capability will be added to make paying more convenient.
Despite all the updates to campus parking, over 300 students are currently on the waiting list for permits, according to Hansen. Students who were fortunate enough to get a permit reserved one before fall semester began.
The only solution to fulfilling the high amount of permit requests is to build a parking ramp, which is being discussed but is far away from becoming reality. The biggest challenges to potentially building a parking ramp are finding a location for it as well as proper funding.
“Increased permit costs are currently the only way for us to raise money for a parking ramp,” Hansen said.
To keep up with all the changes related to campus parking, check out the newly redesigned UMD Parking Services website at www.d.umn.edu/transportation-parking-services.