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Essay/Term paper: Parking planning

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World History

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The University of ___________
Parking Deck Project
Principals of Planning

GE 310
Fall 1996

The University of ________________ has been confronted with claims of parking shortages over the past several years. Many of these claims were not supported by any facts or figures that explained the cause of the parking shortages. In fact, some of the claims of insufficient parking were based on students not being able to locate parking spaces in the parking lots adjacent to their first class. Due to recent and projected enrollment increases, there now exist a genuine parking shortage. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the current parking, plan for future parking needs, and propose possible locations for increased parking spaces at the University of ______________.

The 1996 enrollment for the University of ______________ is 4,960. The enrollment increased approximately twelve (12) students from the 1995 enrollment. There are currently 2,303 total parking spaces on University property. The University Master Plan recommends one parking space for every 1.8 students. The student enrollment, (divided by) the number of students per parking space, (equals) the number of recommended parking spaces.

1996 Enrollment ........................ 4,960
Students Per Parking Space......... / 1.8 (Divided by)
Recommended Parking Spaces... = 2,756

Recommended Parking Spaces.. 2,756
Current Parking Spaces.............. - 2,303 (Minus)
Shortage of Parking Spaces...... = 453

The number of Students Per Parking Space ( 1.8 ) is based on a national average of University parking. This formula shows that the University is currently deficient 453 parking spaces.
The existing parking areas are positioned at various locations on the campus of the University. These parking lots vary in size from 6 to 294 spaces. Many of the parking areas are located in the heart of the University. This allows for easy accessibility but it takes away from the aesthetic beauty of the campus. The existing parking areas also cause traffic congestion in their immediate area. The majority of the parking lots are located on streets that have limited access or the exits do not allow for an easy transition into existing streets.

Planning for the future growth of the University of __________________ is essential when assessing its future parking needs. The University of North Alabama Master Plan must be taken into consideration when planning for the future. The Master Plan proposes many changes for the overall improvement of the University.(See Figure 2) These improvements include dramatic changes in the existing parking facilities of the University. The physical changes that have been proposed by the Master Plan must be used in conjunction with demographic data in order to provide a user friendly and beautiful campus.
The University Master Plan proposes many creative ideas for the future of the University. These ideas, if enacted, would cause the campus to be more aesthetically pleasing and efficient. The University Master Plan contains plans to remove and redesign much of the internal parking on the campus. Parking spaces in the following areas would be eliminated: Wesleyan Ave., Morrison Ave., parking lot K, parking lot E, and parking lot H. (see Figure 1) There will be a total of approximately 400 parking spaces that will need to be relocated in order to conform to the Master Plan. These lost parking spaces must be accommodated in another location. The number of lost parking spaces when added to the existing parking shortage will result in a parking space deficiency of over 800. This will cause a substantial parking shortage in the near future if plans are not quickly enacted.
Projected enrollment must be taken into consideration, in order to make sure that the University has adequate facilities for the students and faculty. The University Admissions Office is projecting an enrollment increase of 347 over the next five (5) years. (This figure was derived from the formula used earlier in the study). This increase, when added to the existing parking shortage, would result in the deficiency of 645 parking spaces. Five (5) years is a relatively short period of time and the parking problems will only compound in the future.
After conforming to the Master Plan and planning for enrollment growth the University will be deficient over 1000 spaces. These figures are overwhelming. This is why an appropriate plan must be reviewed and approved as soon as possible.

Now that the parking needs of the University have been discussed, an appropriate site(s) must be found for the new parking facilities. The use of a parking deck would be best suited to the needs of the University. Guidelines should be followed in order to insure an efficient and pleasant parking facility. Accessibility, ample area, convenience, and cost are a few of the criteria that will be discussed for locating the new parking deck.
After reviewing the criteria, the location for the new parking facility should be at the current Kilby School. Plans have already been discussed for the relocation of Kilby School and the future empty location would provide the optimum qualities needed for a new parking deck. The Master Plan places practice athletic fields at this location. Therefore, it would not be displacing any dominant structures in the area.(see Figure 2) These qualities are covered in the preceding paragraph.
The location provides excellent accessibility. Pine Street is a four lane street that could easily meet the increased traffic flow caused my the addition of the parking deck. Oakview Drive could easily be expanded and connected to Stewart Street. This would provide access from an alternate direction. Traffic lights and existing intersections would regulate the traffic flow from the parking deck smoothly into existing traffic. (see Figure 2) The use of express exits would be implemented to accommodate the high traffic flow exiting the parking deck after classes or during other school activities.
The Kilby location would also provide ample area for the construction. This site could easily accommodate 300 parking spaces per level. This would still allow room for landscaping and access roads that would serve the parking deck. This large area would also eliminate the need of stacking a high number of layers into a small area.
The proposed location would also be convenient for all of its users. Its location would provide short walking distances to all of the buildings on campus. It would be useful during activities held at Norton Auditorium and the Student Union Building. The location would easily accommodate the parking spaces that will be eliminate in parking lot K (behind the Guillot Center). A simple pedestrian walk over Pine Street would provide all users safe access to the entire campus.
The cost of the parking would be held to a minimum. This is due to the small amount of excavation that would be needed to prepare the site for building. The parking deck would only need a few levels do to its large area. It would also be easy to build the structure so that more level additions would be possible. All of these options give the University the flexibility to build a parking deck that is economically feasible.

This study has reviewed the existing parking facilities and their capabilities at the University. It has also discussed the present and future parking shortages that it is facing. It has attempted to conform to the Master Plan of the University and shown methods to eliminate the parking dilemma. Hopefully all of these ideas can be reviewed and implemented to improve the overall beauty and efficiency of the University of ____________________.


University of _____________________ Master Plan.

Arcy Thomas J.,1994., The Dimensions of Parking., ULI-the Urban Land Institute.

Branch Melville C., 1983., Comprehensive City Planning., American Planning Association.


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