Parking a rare class on campus

By Sarah Garrecht

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It can seem like a parking permit at the UA is little more than a hunting license.

And the game is on the endangered species list.

Because of campus construction projects, there are 382 fewer parking spaces than last year, said Marlis Davis, director of Parking and Transportation services, and another 618 are slated for elimination later this fall.

A new residence hall and the construction project at the main gate have replaced the lots which housed the 382 spaces, Davis said. Between October and January the University of Arizona will lose 427 Zone One and 191 Zone Two spots when building starts on two fraternities for the University Village plan, the environmental and natural resources building and the aerospace and mechanical engineering structure.

However, the office is working to provide parking alternatives. Davis said that Parking and Transportation has added some spaces, and has increased the Cat Tran shuttle services.

"We have added 187 spaces by paving a lot of areas next to parking lots, and that made the lots a little bigger," she said.

"We have leased a couple areas. We brought in 300 spaces from a Tucson Unified School District lot at Ninth (Street) and Fremont (Avenue)," Davis said. "We also have a lot at the Catalina United Methodist Church, near Speedway (Boulevard) and Tucson (Boulevard). We have a shuttle that goes there."

"They're leased, but that didn't happen until late, and they're still relatively empty."

The number of disabled parking spaces will remain constant, she said.

"You can't eliminate disabled spaces on campus," Davis said. "You have to go with the flow and put them where they're needed, which can vary from year to year. But the ratio of spaces will not change."

The Cat Tran shuttle service has expanded to off-campus areas, said Davis.

"We bought two brand new shuttles this year, and increased service with new routes," she said. "Five to six thousand people use the service each week, and it comes by around every ten minutes."

Shuttle stop signs are posted around campus, she said.

However, while Parking and Transportation is trying to manage spaces with demand, some people are not satisfied with the department's efforts.

"I dropped an 11 o'clock class because I couldn't find parking," said Vicqui Tenijero, a media arts senior. "You have to come to school at least an hour before class."

"On Monday, Wednesday and Friday my classes are all in the Modern Languages, Psychology and Education buildings," she said. "There's no reason why I should have to part by Franklin (Building) or Coronado (Residence Hall). I purchased the permit for convenience."

Zone One permits, the most convenient on campus, cost $140 per year. Zone Two lots, which are farther away, are $65 per

mid

year.

The cost of a permit, which is higher than last year, can be prohibitive.

"I drive, but I have to park eight or nine blocks away," said Robert Duggan, a media arts senior. "It's just guerilla parking out there. I park in a Circle K lot or on a non-residence permit street.

"I've never tried to buy a permit it's too expensive," he said. "And even the people who have permits are having trouble parking. There are just problems no matter what."

However, Duggan does not think that lowering prices is the answer.

"If they made the permits cheaper, then demand would be higher and that wouldn't help things anyway."

Davis said that her office is trying to accomodate people who drive to campus and might be able to sell monthly permits until December, when more construction projects are underway.

Seventeen hundred waiting list permits were sent out yesterday, said Davis. Some of these are spaces that people reserved last spring, and then did not claim, she said. The department has to wait until the selling period is over to put the unclaimed permits up for sale.

Wildcat reporter Cara Miller contributed to this story.

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