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   from the issue of March 25, 2004

Parking offers options to combat shortfall


Three major construction projects on UNL's City Campus will impact parking over the next five years, creating a parking shortage, and Parking and Transit Services has developed three possible scenarios to relieve the situation.

Parking will explain the scenarios at open house presentations next week. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the sessions to learn more about the options and provide feedback on the three scenarios.

The Antelope Valley construction project on the north edge of City Campus will remove some surface parking spaces, and the new Husker Courtyards and Husker Village residence halls at 17th and Vine and 16th and Y streets, respectively, will reduce the availability of existing parking spots, said Kim Phelps, assistant vice chancellor of business and finance.

Projected numbers show that in fall 2004, as was the case during the current academic year, the number of parking stalls on campus will not meet demand. In 2004-2005, 14,206 stalls will be available, but the demand is expected to be 14,641, creating a shortfall of 435 stalls, according to projections. The shortfall continues to grow to a peak of a projected shortage of around 800 stalls in the 2007-2008 academic year. Because of these shortfalls in supply, the number of parking permits sold will have to be restricted starting this fall.

Parking and Transit Services has developed three scenarios to help solve the anticipated shortage in future years:

• Scenario 1 is to build an addition to the new garage nearly finished at 14th and Avery streets. The addition would add 843 stalls to the garage and would be ready for the 2006-2007 year. The main portion of the garage will be open this fall.

• Scenario 2 involves demolishing the former greek housing east of the Harper-Schramm-Smith housing complex and adding 450 additional surface parking stalls, which would be ready for the 2005-2006 year.

• Scenario 3 would be to both add to the 14th and Avery garage and demolish the former greek housing, adding a total of 1,293 stalls.

All three scenarios have one thing in common: Beginning this fall, a new rate structure would be created for parking permits. A "garage permit" would be created; students, faculty and staff buying this permit could park in one of the two existing campus garages at 17th and R Streets and 14th and Avery Streets. Student and faculty/staff surface permits would be offered as a separate option, and surface permit holders would not be allowed to park in the garages except during certain hours. Currently, faculty, staff and students holding any permit may park in the campus garages in addition to their permits' surface lots. Garage permits for faculty, staff and students would cost slightly more than permits for surface lots only, but parking fees in the long term will be less than the current approach for most permit holders.

More details about these scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Scenario 1 would add 843 stalls to the new parking garage at 14th and Avery streets. Some of the benefits of garage parking are that parking is more centralized, which helps reduce the possibility of pedestrian and car accidents and the number of cars driving around the parking lots looking for an open space. Security is also enhanced in garage parking because of lighting and frequent pedestrian and vehicle traffic through the garage. It also increases parking availability for campus visitors.

Scenario 2:

Scenario 2 would add 450 stalls by demolishing former greek housing north of 16th and Y streets. One of the benefits of this option, aside from adding stalls, is that because the cost of this project is less than adding to a parking garage, the cost of all permits in this option would not increase as much over the next five years. However, projections show that in this scenario, a shortage of stalls across campus would still exist in the long term, and parking-permit sales would still have to be restricted.

Scenario 3:

Scenario 3 combines scenarios 1 and 2; an addition would be attached to the new garage at 14th and Avery streets and former greek housing would be demolished to add student surface parking. This scenario combines the benefits of the other options; also, more parking permits could be sold in 2005-2006 to help pay for the garage construction because of the additional surface parking provided by the demolition of the greek housing.

Also, the projected costs for parking permits for Scenario 3 are nearly identical for all permit types to the projected permit costs for Scenario 1. Some permit prices go up one year sooner under Scenario 1, but by the 2006-2007 year, the permit prices are the same in both scenarios. It is also possible under this option that sales of permits would only have to be restricted for the 2004-05 academic year.

To participate

Parking and Transit Services wants your input about the future of parking on campus at two open-house presentations.

The open houses will be from 4-5:30 p.m. March 29 at the Nebraska East Union and from 4-5:30 p.m. March 31 at the Nebraska Union. The display will show the circumstances that will change parking on campus over the next several years and three scenarios that will help alleviate these problems over the long term. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and provide their feedback about which of the three possible solutions they prefer.

Information about these scenarios is also available at the Parking and Transit Services Web site at Faculty, staff and students can state their preferences and also provide feedback by e-mailing Parking at

The Parking Advisory Committee will review the feedback and provide a recommendation to the vice chancellor of business and finance and the university's other administrators.



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