Parking upgrades with more premium options

Spinnaker

During a series of meetings throughout the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 semesters, the UNF Parking Services Council decided to make two changes to parking services: a night-time premium permit option and a chance for students working on campus to upgrade their discount permit to premium.

“The core of campus is moving north as the Student Union is opening,” said James Cima, Senate president and vice chair of the Parking Services Council.

A change to the council’s by-laws provided this chair position to Cima, giving the student body a fourth vote in the Parking Services Council.

And with 1,000 new spaces in the Fountains, 62 new spaces in Lot 3 and the loss of parking due to construction in Lot 7, parking patterns for 2009 have become quite unpredictable, said Everett Malcolm, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Parking Services Council chair.

With that in mind, the council decided to keep the parking, citation and daily permit fees the same for the ‘09 academic year but to expand to the additional permit options.

The premium night-only parking permit will allow students to park on the core of campus from 5 p.m. to midnight only for $95 – the same price as a discount permit for Lots 14, 18 and 53.

It is meant to help fill the premium spaces, which open up later in the evening, and to increase the safety and satisfaction of students and faculty who attend night-time classes, Malcolm said.

Ryan Ewing, chair of the Parking Appeals Committee, said that during his time on the committee,  more than 3,000 appeals from graduate students looking for a solution to this issue.

As for those with premium permits, the new nighttime-only permit should not negatively impact the availability of the premium spaces at nighttime, Malcolm said.

Students who work heavier hours in on-campus positions might also be able to get a break in 2009 as their discount permits can be upgraded to premium.

“This isn’t for an everyday case,” Cima said. “This is if you get a 30-hour-a-week job [on campus]. It’s really hard to get there on-time if you have a discount parking permit.”

Students interested in taking advantage of this just need permission from Mauricio Gonzalez, vice president of Student Affairs.

Council members have also discussed the possibility of close-proximity spaces for hybrid vehicles, carpooling opportunities, conversion of the first few rows of Lot 53 to premium, adaptation of Lot 53 to a residential lot, color-coding the lots to their corresponding permits and creating a 3-7 a.m. shuttle bus route.

But all of these ideas were dismissed or put on hold by the council, Cima said.

“A lot of stuff was put on the table, but it wasn’t real practical,” he said.

Without knowing the number of hybrid vehicles on campus and without a higher transportation fee, the shuttle expansion and hybrid spaces were put on hold.

Malcolm and Cima both agree that the largest consumer of parking is students, and the council is there to serve them.

“Our goal is just to make parking as efficient and productive for everyone as possible,” Cima said.

NEW PARKING OPTIONS

• Premium night-only parking permit

Students can park in the core of campus from 5 p.m. to midnight for $95 – the same price as a discount permit for Lots 14, 18 and 53.

• Student/employee upgrade

Discount permits can be upgraded to premium for students who work on campus full-time.

Source: Parking Services Council.

E-mail Rebecca McKinnon at [email protected]