December 6, 2010
Writer: Writer: Andy Cargal

A new parking system at Brigham Young University-Idaho will soon be implemented in an effort to better accommodate the growing student population and create a safer environment.

The new plan better organizes the use of existing lots by dividing campus into a north (N) and a south (S) zone, with students having the option to purchase a permit for one of the two zones. Employee parking regulations will largely remain the same.

"The zoned parking system is primarily intended to reduce the amount of traffic around campus, but will also help us plan for the future. Drivers still have plenty of parking options, and roads will be safer with fewer people circling campus for a space," said Eric Harmston, university safety officer.
Statistics show that sufficient parking is currently available for individuals who need to drive. Information collected earlier this year indicates that, on average, 25 percent of student parking spaces remain unfilled throughout a given day.

Permit prices will also increase as part of the new plan. "N" permits will cost $30 per semester or $70 per calendar year, and "S" permits will run $20 per semester or $50 per year. Income gained from permit fees will go toward parking lot maintenance.

As part of the research process for the new parking strategy, students were surveyed and interviewed for their feedback, ideas, and potential concerns. Results indicated that a majority of students were in favor of a zoned parking system and permit price increases, and additional comments helped further shape the plan. "It was nice to know that the administration cared enough to seek student input before final decisions were made," said Student Body President Jon Clare. "Our new parking system is one I believe both students and administration agree upon."

A few additional permit options are available, including a free (F) permit for the large lot on Seventh South near the Thomas E. Ricks Building, and the church (C) permit for the Fourth Ward meetinghouse lot across from the Oscar A. Kirkham Building ($20 per semester).

"It is our hope that students who live close to campus will choose to walk rather than drive, therefore freeing up spaces for individuals who live farther away, and creating an overall safer campus environment," said Charles Andersen, vice president over University Resources. About half of the student body resides within one block of campus, and two-thirds live within two blocks.
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