University to consider new parking options
October 4, 2018
Students complaining about a lack of parking spaces near residence halls may have their concerns alleviated, as the University is considering building new parking garages around campus, including ones near Ikenberry Commons, Sherman Hall and Illinois Street Residence Hall.
Students living in residence halls have been expressing concerns about the price of student parking passes and the location of parking lots. The current cost of a student parking pass is $660 per year.
Sarah Cano, freshman in ACES, said the $660 fee is not worth the long trip to her car. She would like to be able to park closer to her residence hall.
Cano lives in Ikenberry Commons, but the closest lot she can park in is Lot E-14, which is three blocks south of where she lives.
“I drove here from Texas, so I needed to park my car,” Cano said. “In front of my dorm, it is only faculty and staff (parking).”
The master plan released by University Parking outlines a proposal to improve two current lots and to identify possible locations for new lots or garages.
Martin Paulins, director of parking at the University, said in an email the price is necessary in order to pay for the maintenance costs of parking facilities.
“Parking fees are imposed to recoup the expense associated with operations, maintaining parking garages, maintaining surface lot spaces and snow removal,” Paulins said. “The Parking Department is a self-supporting auxiliary and receives no other University funding.”
In comparison, the City of Champaign owns parkettes, small parking lots, on campus, where apartment residents can park their cars. Prices vary for these parking spots depending on the location.
Champaign parkette prices range from $360 to $675 per year, depending on how close students want to be to the Main Quad.
Elizabeth Beaty, administrative services manager for Urbana, said it is normal for colleges to house student parking lots far from residence halls.
“This is very common,” Beaty said. “My son just graduated from Ball State (University), and if he wanted parking when he was in the dorms, he would have to go all the way out by their football field.”
The Parking Department is working with the University to reduce the number of cars on campus. Paulins has also pointed out there are alternative forms of transportation that students can look into, if they do not like the parking options.
“The ultimate goal is reducing the number of vehicles on campus, which will reduce the University’s carbon footprint,” Paulins said.