News

Increases in parking and prices scheduled

In accordance with last year’s parking management plan, UM is finalizing the groundwork for a massive parking expansion.
By the time construction is finished in 2005, over 3000 new spaces will have been added, said Sandra Redway, Assistant Director of Business Services. The cost of this project, which will be approximately $20 million, will be funded through parking revenues.
“Our hope is to have a good plan that will minimize inconveniences for students,” said Dr. Patricia Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs. “We want the best plan possible-but that doesn’t mean it won’t be inconvenient.”
Permit prices increased 4.5% last year, and will increase 16.5% next year and 8% annually for the following five years.
Discount parking permits, however, will cost less for the first three years than the current $235 for standard parking.
The new spaces will come from two new garages, new parking lots and various expansions.
Two new lots, Stanford/Granada and Plumer, will be built on the south side of the University Metrorail Station, as well new lots behind the Memorial classroom building.
Another garage will be built close to Mahoney/Pearson Residential halls and two floors will be added to the existing Ponce garage, increasing the number of discounted parking spaces from 200 to over 1800.
“We want to let people know that there is action being taken,” said Robert Castro, Head of the Student Government Parking Committee.
However, as a result of construction to increase parking, many lots will be closed. In response to this, various temporary lots are going to be opened, among them two behind Fraternity Row.
Making for another lot the Sigma Alpha Epsilon area will also be paved.
“This is all in hopes of having ample parking while building,” said Mike Johnston, Student Government Speaker of the Senate.
These lots, however, may prove very inconvenient for students. While the Mahoney/Pearson area lots are closed, all the substitute parking spaces will be by San Amaro Drive, making for nearly a two-mile walk.
“We’re in a very awkward position. Should we make people walk from Frat row to Mahoney/Pearson?” said Johnston. “It’s not safe; it’s not convenient.”
Though construction is slated to begin during spring break, it will not be completed until-at the very least-the beginning of the fall semester. “Realistically, the temporary lots won’t be finished until the end of the semester,” said Jonhston.
“The Pavia lot will be closed starting at spring break; the Mahoney/Pearson lot will close sometime in April, and the Ponce garage will only shut down for construction after the semester is over,” added Dr. Pat Whitely.
The University has also purchased the stretch of Miller Drive between the Ring Theater and the Law School from the City of Coral Gables in order to take over parking in that area and possibly remove the parking meters.
“We are working on purchasing Stanford Drive from Coral Gables in order to remove those meters as well,” said Johnston.
“The good news is there will be plenty of parking in the future,” said Whitely.

February 1, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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