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WSU groups to review five-year parking plan

The university’s Parking and Transportation Task Force has been reviewing a capital and financial plan that would add campus parking spaces, continue to enhance customer service and maintain existing parking structures and lots.

The plan, including rate proposals, will be presented for additional feedback to various constituent groups. This is in accordance with WSU’s internal process for reviewing changes to the parking system. These groups include Associated Students of WSU (ASWSU), Residence Hall Association (RHA), Graduate and Professional Students Association (GPSA), the Faculty Senate, Administrative and Professional Advisory Council and the Labor Management Council. The 15-member task force is in its third year of operation. The task force provides an open review process, available to all campus groups, to deal with issues relating to parking and transportation.

Major objectives of the plan include the development of parking east of the Indoor Practice Facility (South Fairway area), which could provide 300 additional parking spaces by late 2004 at a cost of approximately $1.5 million. Funds could be set aside each year to make repairs to the Fine Arts Garage at a cost of approximately $600,000. About $100,000 per year could be budgeted for parking lot surface maintenance and repairs. Additional funds would be set aside for improving selected gravel parking lots.

Approximately 300 other new parking spaces are currently under construction on three campus sites. John Shaheen, director of WSU Parking, Transportation and Visitor Center, said, “Our mission is to get people where they need to be. This plan would help us accomplish that mission by ensuring that we have enough parking, and that our facilities are maintained at an acceptable level.”

The plan would be funded through a proposed three-year increase in annual and daily parking rates beginning in the fall of 2004. After the three years, annual and daily parking rate increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Meter rates would not be a part of the proposed rate increase in response to student input. Evening and weekend garage rates would remain the same at $2. Proposed increases in annual rates would vary for different color classifications. Annual permits purchased mostly by students, such as yellow, gray and blue permits, are typically lower in price.

Also under this proposal, garage rates would increase from $1.50 per hour to $1.75 per hour in the 2004-2005 fiscal year, and the maximum daily garage rate would increase from $10 to $12. Parking fines are also a part of the proposal, but fines would not be affected until the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Changes to parking zones and permit requirements are also being proposed for some parking locations. Shaheen said the parking rates being discussed still are moderate when compared with WSU’s peer institutions.

For more information on the plan, go to http://www.wsu.edu/parking

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