Campus News

Parking Services updates campus lots

From parking decals with internal radio transmitters to brand new decks, University Parking Services will be introducing some changes this fall.

Most notably, parking services will gain some 500 parking spaces to better accommodate its 20,000 permit holders and the 25,000 people who park on campus daily.

The added parking spots are the result of the new Tate Center deck, slated to open Aug. 18.

The N12 parking lot opened summer semester with 265 spaces after the Medical College of Georgia-University of Georgia Medical Partnership building was purchased by the UGA Real Estate Foundation for use as medical classrooms until the Navy School closes in approximately 2011.

Part of the Tate Student Center expansion, the new parking deck will have around 500 parking spaces-all exclusively for visitors. Permits will not be sold for this deck.

The Tate deck will, at a later date, have a canopy over the entrance and exit to shield visitors from inclement weather. There also will be increased security in the deck including additional parking services employees and high tech security monitoring devices. For special events, the deck can operate two additional exits.

Security and maintenance also have been stepped up for the parking decks. The South Campus parking deck has a new replacement elevator and the Carlton Street parking deck now has two upgraded elevators. The West Campus parking deck now has wider parking spots and the exterior has been painted.

Since parking services began its customer service campaign at the beginning of the year, it’s taken on some janitorial duties to help clean up the lots, including picking up litter and emptying trash, according to Don Walter, manager of parking services.

Over the summer, the North Campus parking deck went through a major renovation. Now traffic flow in the deck is completely reversed with a right turn entry and almost all traffic moving to the right in an effort to reduce wait times. Paying customers will be routed to the Thomas Street exit.

The North Campus parking deck also will be one of the first parking lots on campus to feature automated vehicle identification technology, which will open gates automatically for cars with radio-transmitter parking decals. Drivers will not have to roll down their windows to scan their hang tags for parking access, but rather the transmitter in their decal will send a signal to open the gate.

This technology will be used for the intramural fields parking lot, which will be gated to reduce the number of non-permitted cars in the lot. AVI decals will be optional for the Carlton Street and North campus parking decks.

One reason for implementing AVI technology is that it speeds up the process of entering and exiting lots from 15 seconds down to four seconds, which would help reduce wait times in the North Campus parking deck.

AVI decals will be offered on a trial basis, and if the program is successful it will expand to more lots for the 2009 academic year, according to Walter.

Also, many lots have had their old gates replaced with new ones.

“We’ve worked really hard to improve parking on this campus,” said Walter. “Some of these projects have been in the works for years, and we have many more that we’re currently working on. We want our customers to know that we’re doing everything possible to make parking on campus a better and more pleasant experience.”