Committees & DTFs

Parking Expansion DTF

Parking Expansion DTF

Parking Expansion Disappearing Task Force

November 17, 1999
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Meeting Notes

Attending: Jill Cordner, Thad Curtz, Wendy Freeman, Michel George, Susan Graham (SCA Engineering), Steve Huntsberry, Linda Kahan, Mark Lacina, Trevor Lytle, Timothy Quinn, Sherry Parsons, Perry Shea (SCA Engineering), Masao Sugiyama, Bill Zaugg, John Carmichael

1. Announcements

  • Sherry distributed information about parking and commute trip reduction programs at other colleges and universities in the state.

  • John created a web site for the DTF where meeting minutes and other information can be posted:

  • Thad created a listserv for the DTF and subscribed all the DTF members who supplied e-mail addresses. Interested community members can subscribe as well. Instructions for subscribing are posted on the website. John will distribute minutes via the listserv. To send e-mail to all subscribers, address the message to

  • Bill distributed some financial scenarios to supplement those distributed at the previous meeting. The new scenarios show the effect of phasing in rate increases more gradually.

2. Questions for SCA

Susan Graham and Perry Shea from SCA Engineering joined the meeting to answer questions regarding the Needs Analysis and Feasibility Study. They distributed written answers to the questions the DTF previously submitted. The discussion included the following points:

  • What is the smallest number of parking stalls the college must add? Susan Graham noted that if the college were built today, current parking would not meet county code requirements. Although the county will not require the college to come up to code for pre-existing buildings, the county will require the college to add parking spaces for any new construction. The county will require 380 new parking spaces for Seminar II, which is scheduled to open in fall 2003. It is very unlikely that the county would accept fewer than 380 new parking spaces. In addition, the college plans to increase enrollment to 5,000 FTE students by 2010. Based on current patterns of parking, this enrollment growth will create a need for another 140 parking spaces. These 140 spaces would not be needed all at once, but as the growth occurs. If parking patterns change (for instance, as a result of new commute trip reduction programs), the number of parking spaces needed to accommodate new growth might be fewer than 140. Michel noted that the number of new spaces required by enrollment growth will depend on whether the new students will be concentrated in Olympia or Tacoma, taking day or evening classes, etc. It would be helpful to have a more detailed plan for enrollment growth.

  • Mark said that Housing may expand. What would the county require for parking associated with this new construction? Perry said that he would need to look closely at the county code to provide a definite answer. The code is somewhat ambiguous about the definition of a housing unit. It might be possible to use historical data to determine the number of spaces required.

  • The SCA options show fairly wide landscaping strips in the lots. Are these spaces required? If the college must choose between building new parking lots and eliminating or drastically narrowing the green strips in current lots, do we have the option of taking out the green strips? Susan Graham said that the code does require a certain amount of green space, but not as much as is shown in the proposals. Michel George noted that the SCA options generally follow the Campus Master Plan's guidelines for parking lot density.

  • Michel noted that some reconfiguration of the parking lots may be required regardless of parking expansion. New storm water regulations may require some redesign of the lots. The college recently received a grant to explore the feasibility of using pervious paving materials. SCA will be helping Michel to explore options and costs. Reconfiguring the lots to accommodate more spaces may provide an opportunity to begin using pervious surfaces.

  • Why did SCA regard as unfeasible the proposal for closing part of the parkway and using it for parking? Perry said that, in addition to the effect on local traffic, the option would create a remote and isolated lot. How would people get from the lot to campus? Would they be safe?

  • The DTF agreed to funnel any further questions for SCA through Michel.

3. Process check

Wendy asked each member of the DTF to speak briefly about what the DTF had accomplished so far and what remained to be done. Most members of the DTF said that they expected that the DTF would recommend the reconfiguration of existing parking lots to accommodate at least 380 new spaces, but that more work remained to be done, including:

  • More work on strategies to reduce demand for parking.

  • Consideration of financial aspects.

  • Decisions about which lots should be reconfigured and how. Which options are preferable for safety, the environment, or aesthetics? Do some of the new spaces need to be near Housing?

  • Operation and maintenance of the lots.

  • More consultation with students and other members of the community.

4. Survey plans

Mark said that he intended to develop a survey on parking to send to Housing residents. Michel suggested that the survey be sent to everyone. Thad said that before designing a survey, the DTF should decide what questions it seeks to answer from the survey results. If the survey includes very specific questions and options, the feedback will be more valuable. Linda suggested that the survey be used to collect information about the issues that people would like to see the DTF consider in narrowing the options. Wendy suggested that the DTF conduct a fairly general survey soon, use the results to select three or four options, and collect a "second wave" of feedback on those options. Mark will bring a draft of the survey to the next meeting.

5. Next meeting

The group agreed to meet on Wednesday, December 1 from 1:00-3:00 in Library 1507. The meeting will be a work session devoted to developing a survey.

  • Return to the Parking Expansion DTF Home Page.
  • This page last updated on December 1, 1999.