New gates, scramble proposal end year of parking changes
By Colleen MacPherson
The addition of gate systems to parking lots V and Q, a proposal to scramble lots V and G, and new attempts to increase use of the stadium parkade wrap up a busy year of improvements to campus parking for staff, students and faculty.
Financial and Operations Analyst Judy Wall with Consumer Services said users of lots V and Q should soon receive an automated vehicle identifier (AVI) that, once installed on their windshield, will activate the gate systems recently constructed in those lots. Similar systems are already in use in lots F, G and R, and are proving to be effective.
“It’s been our experience that people are somewhat anxious about lineups at the gates,” said Wall, “but there’s been very little problem with the new system.”
Wall said Consumer Services has also received approval from the joint faculty-University parking committee to scramble lots V and G. The Joint Committee for the Management of the Agreement has also been asked to review the proposal. That group made a requested for more information, which has been forwarded to them, she said, “and we would welcome their approval”.
The decision to proceed with scrambling the two lots is partly based on the positive responses in a survey of lots F and R users done after lots were changed over, she said. Lots V and G are also considered to be centrally located on campus and while there is currently no waiting list for spots, there is a list of people who have asked to be moved into V and G from elsewhere on campus to be closer to their work locations.
She pointed out scramble lots are only oversold to the point of being fully used, meaning there should always be a spot available. Usage of V and G is, on some days, as low as 50-60 per cent, so the increased number of stall available through scrambling will help accommodate requests to move.
There are no plans, however, to allow users of Q lot, which is already scrambled, to have access to the adjoining V lot, even when it too is scrambled. Wall explained that together, the two lots account for almost 1,000 stalls and “to scramble a lot that big means the potential to lose your vehicle, to forget where you parked it, is much higher than in smaller lots”. Keeping to two separate lots also means the University is “still able to reward seniority” with stalls in lot V, which is closer to campus buildings.
No student lots are scheduled for gate systems, but 250 stalls in the stadium parkade were opened to students this fall, she said. Parkade usage has increased somewhat since last year, to about 60-65 per cent capacity “and we’re making attempts to bring that up”. In addition to student stalls, a four-month parking packages are available to anyone for $175. Ideally, Wall would like to see the parkade operating at about 80 per cent capacity.