UCC introduces new parking system

As construction on the campus parking lots comes to an end, a new parking system begins.

Parking permits are now required with the new system. The permits – which will last a year – are allocated at the beginning of every term. Students can pick them up when they register at the Campus Center.

If a student registers during any part of the academic year, he or she will be issued a permit. The permits will not be replaced if lost or stolen; the student is responsible for its safekeeping. Students who lose their permits will only be allowed to park in white zones.

The parking permits are small, colored stickers placed in the corner of the car’s windshield, similar to those used by mechanics for dating oil changes. Permits must be displayed in the windshield’s lower left.

The color of the permits will change every year as a form of notification, allowing security to check at a glance.

Students must obtain a new permit each year they enroll at UCC. Anyone parking in a section where they are not registered will be fined $25.

The faculty permits are similar to those of the students in many respects but have been designed to hang from the mirror instead of attaching to the corner of the windshield. This allows identification from a distance to maintain efficient parking.

Some instructors expressed concerns that the parking permits would be used to track their time on campus. Those concerns are completely unfounded, according to Director of Safety, Security and Custodial Services Steve Buchko who said that the purpose of the tags is to facilitate safe parking for both staff members and the student body. Parking conditions in the past have violated parking and zoning laws, creating safety risks.

Over 120 personnel from local contractors were hired to work on the numerous projects around campus including the parking lots as part of the federal stimulus program.

“It is wonderful that this project has created so much work for local contractors.” Buchko stated. He went on to say that this stimulus money was well spent.

Contractors placed 100 colored-coded signs to detail the new parking sections. The curbs were also painted accordingly to assist with identification, and lots were subdivided into sections indicated by colored lines.

The project’s estimated cost was $630,000.

The new parking system now allows for 180 faculty parking locations, the sections indicated with green lines, and approximately 800 student parking locations, the sections indicated with yellow lines, and approximately 200 open locations, the sections indicated with white lines. The open, or white sections, are available to employees, students and visitors.

Buchko said that although the system has been implemented fully, it will be subject to adjustments as the system adapts to student and faculty needs.

Buchko had been looking at repaving the parking lots for the past five years but was stymied by a shortage of funds. Buchko said he was grateful to the governor and the legislature for the capital necessary to see the project through.

Plans for the parking lot renovation began March 1, 2009, but the reconstruction wasn’t initiated until the end of April due to weather conditions. Buchko wanted the development to begin in the summer to avoid inconveniencing students and faculty, but the stimulus money came attached with a strict time line. Because of this, construction started sooner than Buchko preferred.

The parking lot was revamped in sections; each section was finished before the next was started to minimize impeding students and staff. The entire campus parking lot was done in 10 sections that were completed in just under three months.

“You can’t pave cement in the rain – our original estimation was two weeks, but the weather kept delaying us.” Buchko remarked.

Buchko stated that “90 percent of the project was accomplished in about a month.” He went on to say that everything is done except for the area behind Lockwood Hall, the Campus Center and the road leading to the ESB building. This section is scheduled to be completed June 15, and it will take approximately two to three days, assuming the weather doesn’t interfere.

He feels this new system will greatly improve parking conditions for both the students and the faculty.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.