In response to the letter to the editor published in the Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 edition of Printz, Parking Management would like to provide the following information.
First, the university has not experienced tremendous growth in new student enrollment. In fact, we had four consecutive years of declining enrollment from Fall 2011 through Fall 2015. In the current year, our enrollment is up, but by less than 0.5 percent. Second, the explanation provided before school started, subsequently in the article about the sale of the Elam Arms property, and at the open forum last week did not indicate that the solution to parking challenges was to pave a few of the existing parking lots. We explained what has been added and what is planned both in terms of improvements to gravel lots and in terms of new parking.
Third, a parking structure is not financially possible unless the university increases the existing permit rates by a minimum of $100 per year. However, because of the interest in a new structure, the financial requirements of that option were specifically discussed and explained last week at the open forum, but no one seemed to want to pursue that option. Without significant additional annual revenue to cover the annual debt service required to pay for a new structure, the university cannot just “build another parking garage”.
We appreciate the questions and feedback and will continue to promote ongoing dialogue about the best way to serve the university community. It is our expectation that the Parking and Transit Council will be established this semester to enhance the information exchange with students, faculty and staff about our services.