Parking pandemic

As the semester begins, the battle for parking on campus seems to be more brutal than ever.

Faculty, students and teachers are all fighting for parking spaces during the morning rush before classes. As the first 10 days of fall semester have shown, the cheaper the space the harder the fight.

“Parking… is always a challenge the first week or two of each semester,” said AHEC Parking Operations Manager David Berry. “We did anticipate… parking in the most western, cheaper lots to be tight.”

One option that may help to ease the pain of parking is the Parking Passport, which is new this semester.

“It takes the hassle out of parking because you don’t need to have cash every day,” said AHEC Parking Program Assistant Cathy Rennicke. “Parking lots are available closed and also covered.”

“[The pass] provides a discounted daily fee rate ($5.00) and costs $425/semester for full time [7 days/wk] and $340/semester for Monday through Thursday. It does not guarantee a spot but is good in all lots except Spruce and the Tivoli Parking Garage,” Lanford said.

“As of [Aug. 30] Parking and Transportation have sold 89 full-time and 136 part-time (4 days/wk) Passport permits,” Rennicke said. “The permit is good until Jan. 9 which allows customers to take care of papers that need to be turned in, sell old books back, get set up for the new semester and purchase books.”

A Parking Passport grants unlimited entry and exit. And because the semester has already started, the cost of these passports will be prorated for the remainder of the semester. There is no space guarantee with the Parking Passport, making lot options with or without a passport first come first served.

“There is no reimbursement if [drivers are] unable to find space,” said Lanford. “But there are quite a few lots that accept the passport, so hopefully that will not be too much of a problem, especially after these first two weeks of school.”

Due to the construction at Auraria, the Spruce Lot lost 400 spaces and space in the Redwood Lot is down 16 percent. In Spring 2012, there’s an anticipated loss of 197 spaces in order to make room for a new CCD building.

In response, AHEC is planning on opening two lots to expand parking options.

“We will have two additional lots opening later this fall which are Beech ($2.50) and Fir ($4.00), …both located on 5th Street,” said AHEC Parking Interim Operations Manager Lisa Lanford. “At this time I do not know how many spaces they will have.”

With the recent parking restructuring, it is important for students to familiarize themselves with the new lot names, pricing and transportation options.

“We would like to encourage our customers to [carpool] whenever possible,” said Berry. “Reduced rates for carpool customers are available in the Elm Lot and the Redwood Lot.”

The Elm Lot is located between 5th and 7th streets and the Redwood Lot is located next to the athletic fields.

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