Workgroup looks to expand parking districts
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 02:02
Putting forward plans to greatly expand residential parking districts, revamp parking on the Oregon State University campus and to expand campus shuttle service, the Collaboration Corvallis parking and traffic workgroup met to hear public comment last night at the Madison Avenue meeting room.
Eric Adams, project manager for Collaboration Corvallis, presented survey results filled out by neighborhood residents, statistics of street parking usage in neighborhoods and parking lot usage on the OSU campus.
Statistics collected by the city show that over half of the neighborhoods in the Collaboration’s survey area have parking utilization of 70 percent or more. The survey also showed parking problems decreased the further the neighborhood was from campus, with the near-campus neighborhoods having the biggest problems with parking. Residents also showed greater satisfaction with parking the further away from campus they were.
“The university is looking to, and may very well implement, variable parking on campus,” said Steve Clark, a member of the workgroup and vice president of university relations and marketing.
Steve Clark talked about a university proposal for a new parking system on campus. Surveys taken showed that while lots in the central core of campus tended to be filled to capacity, the lots on the periphery of campus are under-utilized.
Currently, students pay $190 a year to park on campus with no guarantees on which lot they will be able to find space. The new proposal would vary the amounts charged by parking lots, with lots closer to the campus core charging more and other lots, such as Reser and the parking garage next to Gill, charging significantly less. Clark said parking in those lots for the year could be as little as $20 or $40 per year.
Improvements are also being planned to shuttle service around campus so students would have more incentives to use lots further from the campus core.
Many of the citizens commenting at the meeting complained how students and university employees were using their neighborhoods as parking lots. Many said they felt like their neighborhoods needed a parking district in order to ensure their ability to park near their houses.
Those who already lived in parking districts noted how after implementation of the district restrictions, parking problems went away. But some said a better way of allowing guests to park longer than 2 hours was needed in the district. They also noted that while a parking district eliminated parking problems in that neighborhood, it tended to push it to the next block outside the district.
Others voiced their opposition to a parking district, saying they didn’t want to have to pay to park in their own neighborhoods. They said the university needed to do more to provide parking on campus, suggesting construction of a large parking structure.
Those in favor of expanding parking districts said the rate charged to existing districts of $15 a year was reasonable, and said they would be willing to pay more, with most giving $50 as the most they wanted to pay.
The workgroup will be taking the comments from the community under consideration and will be meeting next on Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Madison Avenue meeting room at 500 SW Madison Ave.
Don Iler, editor-in-chief
On Twitter: @doniler