Memorandum To:††††††††††††††† Joan R. Leitzel

From: †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Candace R. Corvey

Re:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Transportation Committee Report Ė FY02

Date:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† May 31, 2002

 

††††††††††††††† In March of this year, the Transportation Policy Committee (TPC) issued its Preliminary Report for the purpose of inviting community input.† Since then, representatives of the TPC have met with the Presidentís Staff, Staff Councils, Faculty Senate, Deanís Council, and Student Senate.† We have held two Open Forums and received numerous letters, emails, and petitions.† I am writing now on behalf of the TPC to summarize community reaction and to offer a plan for your review and approval.† Please consider this memorandum to be an official addendum to the Preliminary Report.

 

 

University Community Reaction

 

††††††††††††††† In general, the community reaction to the Preliminary Report was positive with respect to the comprehensive identification of weaknesses in the current system, as well as the thorough and integrated nature of the recommendations.† There was support for additional services, including a parking facility and greater investment in public transit, but reluctance to have the full cost borne by employees and students.† There was extremely negative reaction to the proposed new parking permit pricing model, particularly to the magnitude of the price increases.†

While there are plainly differences of opinion on nearly every aspect of the details of the report, I offer below a more specific summary of the primary messages we received.† The order of these roughly coincides to the consistency and strength of the message from faculty, staff, and students:

 

         The proposed parking permit prices are too high and would require too dramatic an increase in cost to users. (A vocal minority assert that parking should be free as a condition of employment, and others think that where a specific job has extraordinary parking/transportation requirements the University should cover those costs.) In addition, questions were raised about pricing for second and third shifts and summer session and the possibility of scaling permit prices to salary levels.

         The University must move forward to construct a parking facility in a location consistent with the Campus Master Plan.

         The tiered aspect of the parking permit price proposal places lower-paid employees at a disadvantage and places employees whose offices are not on the core campus at an advantage.

         There is a high degree of skepticism relative to reliable shuttle and bus service, as well as the newer concepts such as emergency rides.† There is a willingness to pay somewhat more for a system that works better, but an expectation that the capacity to improve service be demonstrated first.

         The current model of lot designations, as well as the perceived proliferation of individual and departmental reserved spaces, needs to be reviewed and rationalized to increase fairness and mobility/accessibility.

         There is a high degree of frustration with the frequency of, and associated communication regarding, episodic lot closings due to special events.† There is frustration that parking revenues from Whittemore Center and Athletic events do not flow to Transportation Services and hence do not compliment the investment of employees and students in the transportation system.

         Parking enforcement practices must be consistent and fair.

         Security must be enhanced at night in the remote lots.

         Capital construction projects should include planning and funds to mitigate transportation impacts.

         Some want more data about parking prices and practices of other organizations, while others regard comparative data from similar institutions as not applicable to UNH.

 

 

TPC Response and Plan

 

††††††††††††††† The TPC has carefully reviewed and discussed the above issues.† We ask for your approval to proceed as detailed below:

 

         By December 1, 2002 the TPC will complete and make public a revised proposal with respect to parking permit pricing and tiering. We will also propose a specific implementation plan that may involve phasing. It is our intent to be responsive to community reaction consistent with the principles of Transportation Demand Management (TDM) that form the basis of our Preliminary Report.†

         By August 1, 2002 we will complete an initial feasibility study for a parking facility, which will include data from other organizations that have recently constructed similar facilities.† Based upon that analysis we will determine if it is appropriate to proceed with a comprehensive feasibility study, including financial analysis, site options analysis and preliminary design.† If so, we expect to complete a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for these consulting services during the fall semester.

         During FY03, we will implement as many immediate improvements as funding constraints will allow.† For example, through a partnership between the institution and Student Government, we hope to increase and improve the reliability of shuttle service; expand the number of parking spaces in C Lot; operate pilot programs for emergency rides, carpooling, and vanpooling; increase the number of staff dedicated to enforcement; improve bicycle infrastructure; and improve traffic mobility at the intersection of College Road and Main Street.† Some of these initiatives are subject to approval by the Town.

         By December 1, 2002 the TPC will complete and make public a detailed plan for lot designations, criteria and management plan for the allocation of reserved and specialized spaces of all types (service vehicles, meters, ADAÖ).

         By December 1, 2002 the TPC will complete and make public a policy proposal regarding special events parking, including Athletic and Whittemore events.

         By October 1, 2002 the Chief of UNH Police will present a plan to the TPC for enhanced security in remote lots.†

         By August 1, 2002 the Campus Planner and the Director of Facilities Design and Construction will formalize a process to integrate transportation planning into all capital construction projects.

         In an early fall issue of the Campus Journal, the TPC will publish this memorandum and your response along with a summary of comparative data from other relevant organizations.

 

 

Conclusion

††††††††††††††† Naturally, the detailed proposals scheduled for completion during the FY02-03 academic year will be subject to review and approval by President Hart, as we all know the devil is in the details.† But, the TPC is eager to receive your feedback on the Preliminary Report and the above action plan for the next phase before you retire.† We have appreciated your support for our hard work in this complex and controversial area.

 

 

cc: Members of the TPC

††††† Presidentís Staff

††††† Deanís Council

† ††††Chairs of the Faculty Senate and PAT/OS/EE Councils

††††† Student Senate

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