When University of Toledo faculty, employees and students provided feedback on a survey about on-campus parking in December, some asked whether the University planned to add more parking garages to help ease traffic congestion on Main and Health Science campuses.
“The short answer is, ‘No for now,’’’ said Jason Toth, assistant vice president for facilities. “However, we’ve already studied investing in parking structures during the following 10-year window of our master facilities plan for UT.
“The trend at city-based universities tends to be more vertical than horizontal parking — that is, more garages than surfaced lots. But the issue we currently face during this first 10-year window of the plan is that parking garages are extremely costly, not only to build, but also to maintain.”
Adding to the cost issue is that the state does not provide funding for the building, care or maintenance of parking facilities. Therefore, funding for university parking needs comes from parking fees and fines.
“As we continue to monitor parking needs, it’s important to note that there already are enough parking spaces on our campuses, even during peak hours,” said Sherri Kaspar, manager for public safety services. “However, drivers want to park as close to their classes and offices as possible. When that occasionally can’t happen, they become frustrated.”
Kaspar noted that lower-demand lots are within only a 10- to 15-minute walk to most campus destinations.
Based on survey feedback provided by UT commuters, University officials continue developing a new parking management program, targeted for implementation in fall 2017. This new program is intended to offer more equitable parking choices for students, faculty and staff; promote use of lower-demand lots to help ease congestion; and encourage use of alternative and greener ways to commute.