Committees & DTFs

Parking Expansion DTF

Parking Expansion DTF

Parking Expansion Disappearing Task Force

  • January 12, 2000
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Meeting Notes

Recorded by - Thad Curtz
Wendy Freeman, the chair of the DTF, introduced Thomas Bain, a new student attending from the Shelter program.

Part 1

We discussed the relevant criteria for selecting a plan. Criteria include, in alphabetical order:

A. Aesthetics of the result considered as landscaping, with some reference to the prescriptions of the campus master plan.

B. Costs of construction, operation, repair and eventual replacement, offset to some extent by the capacity of the plan to generate parking income, and by possible savings derived from a plan's avoiding other costs (such as avoiding the expense of repairing a lot by reconfiguring it.)

C. Environmental impacts, particularly on trees, water quality, and biological habitats, and perhaps (though we aren't agreed at this point on whether they should be taken into account) on more distant processes like global warming and ozone depletion.

D. Impacts on users including fees, convenience and availability of spaces, safety of parked vehicles, accident rates in the lots, and suitable provisions for visitors and handicapped parking.

E. Risks of relatively new versus familiar and predictable solutions.

Part 2

Thad Curtz asked for clarification about a number of financial details. According to Bill Zaugg, the current fees are probably not actually high enough to cover eventual repair and replacement costs on the lots, and would need to be raised some even if we didn't need more spaces. The current expenses on his spreadsheets include the costs of hiring booth attendants, people to do parking enforcement, and their vehicle. The figure in the spreadsheets for "Bad Debt Expense" represents each year's uncollected ticket fines (roughly $40,000 out of $80,000 worth of tickets in 1988-99.) The scenarios for raised fees we have explored so far produce additional yearly income ranging from roughly $150,000 to roughly $300,000. Sherry Parsons supplied the college's current expenditures on trip reduction programs - $3,000 a year.

Part 3

Darren presented a parking plan with a number of ideas, focusing on reconfiguring the lots with one-way traffic and diagonal striping, on a number of ideas about varying fees to encourage trip reduction, and on a proposal about improving drainage. According to Michel George, some ideas about drainage and layout similar to these are already under discussion; the general consensus was that the fee ideas also should get further attention. In the course of our discussion of these ideas, Michel George discussed the extensive work the students in Jim Stroh's program are doing to assess campus run-off and its effects, in connection with a grant Facilities received. He also commented that changes in the culverting on 17th may return one of the small streams on campus to viable salmon spawning habitat and lead to significant requirements about controlling the runoff reaching it (perhaps even an EPA requirement for zero runoff from the lots.) There are many possibilities for dealing with runoff, including channeling it into catchment basements and covering lots with more permeable surfaces, though the latter raises issues about oil draining into the ground.

Michel also noted that the report on parking lot management, which is looking among other things at issues about ticketing and various ways of collecting fees, may be finished by the end of this month; someone is scheduled to come and discuss this work with us soon. In discussing Darren's proposals about fees, Doug Hitch pointed out that if we collected fees as people left the lots it would greatly reduce problems about cars piling up at the entrance gate.

Part 4

In discussing the pros and cons of several possible plans, a variety of points were made.

In general, Michel said he thought the cost estimates in the SCA report seemed reasonable. He also brought to our attention the existence of the Campus Land Use Committee, which would consider any proposal we made and decide what to recommend to the trustees; this committee meets once every three or four weeks.

A. Ideas about reconfiguring the lots -

There are some quite big trees in B lot - Paul Pryzbylowitz collects lichens from some of them that he has not found anywhere else on campus.

Reconfiguring several lots, or parts of several, would allow us to distribute the additional parking, which would increase the convenience of the new spaces for users, who would like to be close to different buildings (not just those near Lot

B) and arrive from different sides of the campus (from the north as well as downtown),

Building several small new "Vanity" lots close to different buildings (and perhaps charging extra for them) would also achieve this, but might dramatically change the feeling of walking or looking out of those buildings.

Michel thinks that the cost of maintaining the lots over the next five or ten years is not going to be so large that we will be avoiding really significant maintenance expenses if we reconfigure the lots. (He thought it might cost $5,000 to $10,000 a year to maintain them for the foreseeable future.)

B. Parking on one lane of the Parkway

The county would probably strongly oppose this, since they plan to make this road four lanes all the way from the freeway to Cooper Point.

On the basis of a rough estimate, Paul Pryzbylowitz thought that 380 spaces would require about 4,000 feet of one side of the Parkway. We'd need to provide shuttle service in addition to the bus that runs along here already, but we might consider using these spaces for people who all arrive together in the morning and all leave together at night, providing very frequent shuttles for an hour or an hour and a half during these two periods, and a rapid emergency taxi for individuals at other times.

We will eventually have to rebuild the Parkway - for about $1.2 Million
- and if we only had to redo one side of it as highway, it would cost significantly less...

However, Michel remarked that expanding the road to allow parking on it would probably cost three to four times what building parking lot surfaces costs, because roads are much more carefully and solidly constructed.

Parking on one lane of the road also raises concerns about the security of the parked cars, and of the people waiting .

C. Parking at the Mall

Someone told Michel that the Mall is already renting some people parking spaces during the week, at $35-40 a month; he'll try to remember the source.

D. Parking in church lots - particularly the new St. Michael's lot

Sherry thinks that discussions with churches by Karen Parker at Intercity Transit about using lots like these for park and ride spaces ran into unresolvable complications. Questions were raised about insurance issues, the security of the parked cars, and whether or not a remote video security system or simply insuring the cars against vandalism were workable solutions.

The neighbors of these churches would probably object to traffic at commute times during the week, since they already complained about Sunday traffic during the permitting process.

E. A new lot on the corner of Cooper Point Road and the Parkway

There's a piece of land for sale there, but its price and size are still unknown, and using it would also involve shuttle service.

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