Permits for weeknight parking required starting Aug. 15
Beginning next month, faculty, staff and students who need to park on campus at night during the week will need to display a permit.
Faculty, staff and students who have daytime or park-and-ride permits can use those to park in the University’s designated night parking areas after 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Permits will not be required after 5 p.m. on Friday or during the weekend.
Those who do not have a University parking permit but need to park in University lots at night can acquire a new night-parking permit that will be honored in visitor lots, employee lots and three-hour metered lots on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors may park in designated visitor lots and at meters, or they can purchase daily, weekly or monthly permits.
The new night-parking permits, which were approved in 2011 by the Board of Trustees as part of the five-year plan for transportation and parking, are based on a sliding scale related to income, similar to daytime permits, and range from $227 per year to $390 per year for faculty and staff. All students, excluding first years, will pay a $10.40 fee, which was approved last fall by the Student Fee Advisory Subcommittee and the BOT, and reported to the UNC Board of Governors.
This year, the University implemented a new permit fee for park-and-ride lots, based on the same sliding scale as the night-parking permits.
The University worked with Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. to develop the overall five-year plan, which incorporated feedback from students, employees and the campus-wide Advisory Committee for Transportation.
The addition of the park-and-ride and night-parking permits sprang from the need to generate additional revenue to meet increasing parking and transit expenses while spreading the costs of services more equitably among all users. For decades, daytime permit holders and visitor parking revenues subsidized these services, while people who came to campus at night parked for free.
Part of the overall expense includes providing fare-free service on Chapel Hill Transit. Although Chapel Hill and Carrboro share the costs of providing that service with the University, UNC bears some 60 percent of the total costs, with students accounting for about 75 percent of the ridership.
Chief Jeff McCracken, director of public safety, acknowledged that introducing any new cost requires an adjustment period, and that is why the BOT endorsed delaying the night-parking permits until fall 2014.
“Unfortunately, it is no longer realistic to sustain a system in which people park for free,” he said. “There are real costs associated with parking and transit, and everyone has to share that responsibility.”
He encouraged the campus community to keep safety foremost in mind, no matter what time of day or night they come to campus – and whether they purchase a night-parking permit or choose to walk or bike to campus instead.
Services that help enhance safety include:
- The Point-to-Point (P2P) service provides on-demand van services for after-dark and emergency transportation needs;
- P2P Express provides a fixed-route loop of campus from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m., seven days a week;
- The Department of Public Safety in conjunction with Student Affairs is sponsoring a new service for the campus community in which people can download a UNC Guardian app that allows them to use their cell phones to activate a timer that alerts Public Safety and any other designated friends or family members on the person’s behalf if the timer isn’t turned off within the set timeframe;
- Emergency phones and call boxes are located across campus;
- A pedestrian-friendly lighted corridor goes through the center of campus;
- The SafeWalk initiative by Student Government provides a pair of students trained by Public Safety to walk a student to an on-campus destination;
- Zimride helps students find others to share rides;
- Eight police officers are assigned to patrol the campus at night, with security guards assigned to the Cardinal, Dogwood and Craige decks at night; and
- Evening and early-morning shuttle service is available between UNC Hospitals and the nearby parking lots as well as to Craige Deck (see go.unc.edu/Pn96J).
The Department of Public Safety is also exploring the feasibility of additional options for short-term parking at night and possibly developing an evening version of a service permit that departments could make available to people in their areas for University business purposes.
As new measures are implemented, the information will be posted at go.unc.edu/p5MDd; the site includes information for employees, students and visitors as well as a map of University lots affected and frequently asked questions about night parking.
The University will begin the process to gather input for the next five-year transportation and parking plan in the next year.