Student parking looks scarce for fall semester
Arizona Summer Wildcat
This metered parking lot sits to the north of the Memorial Student Union. Spaces like this are difficult to find during the school year, even for parking permit holders.
Arizona Summer Wildcat
The hardest thing to accomplish at the University of Arizona during the upcoming school year may not have anything to do with academics.
The biggest fear that faces students, faculty and staff could be finding an open parking space. Space is so limited (9,300 spots for more than 45,000 people), that UA parking officials are warning students about the problems of bringing a car to campus.
"We're telling people, if they don't have a parking permit, don't even bring a car," said Michael Delahanty, program coordinator for UA Parking and Transportation Services.
The application process for each academic year begins in the spring, when the UA sends out a renewal notice to all permit holders. After the renewal period, the remaining spaces are opened up to the rest of the UA community.
All of the spots for next year are already sold out, and the UA is only adding people to the waiting list for some of the parking lots.
Not being able to accommodate every applicant is a consequence of having a greater demand than supply, Delahanty said.
"Think about it, we have 35,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff, but only so many spaces," he said.
Delahanty said students on the waiting list for a Zone One, Cherry Avenue Garage or North Park Avenue permit, stand the best chance of eventually being selected.
Although the waiting list gives students a chance to obtain a permit, some UA students said the system is inadequate for such a large campus.
Jeff Pierce, a communication senior, said he was able to get a permit for the Second Street Garage only after a friend graduated and passed it along to him. Pierce said that before he had the pass, he would often get a ticket for parking in front of his house, just north of campus.
"It's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "You can't win with the city, or the university."
To help reduce parking congestion, the UA is planning to build two new parking garages that will add at least 1,700 more spaces. Construction on the first garage - a multi-storied structure scheduled to go up around the North Tyndall Avenue-East Fourth Street intersection - is slated to begin in November.
The second garage will be located on East Sixth Street between North Fremont and North Santa Rita avenues. Although plans are still in the early stages, Delahanty said construction could begin as early as March.
Both projects still need the approval of the Arizona Board of Regents.
In the meantime, Delahanty recommends bicycling and walking as methods of transportation.
There are other options for students not wanting to pay the price for a parking permit. Several campus streets and local neighborhoods have a limited number of curb-side parking spaces, but the majority of these spots are taken by 8:00 a.m.