The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Changes to parking aim to alleviate shortages after sell-outs

Photo by Jiyoon Kim On football game days, Lots 11 and 12 are vacated, leaving Lot 14 for overflow student parking.

As campus projects continue across campus, parking availability has suffered due to space reductions as crews have set up around Otto Olsen and the Student Union. The shortage has left many campus residents without permits close to residence halls.

The ongoing shortage may have solutions in sight thanks to plans from the UNK Parking offices to alleviate the problem.

“We did have more demand; our residential numbers are up,” said Ted Eichholz, UNK Parking coordinator. “And then you can combine those with construction and reducing parking stalls. It is a pretty substantial waitlist.”

Around 11 stalls were lost to work in Lot 11 west of Randall Hall as part of the Otto Olsen project, and nearly two-thirds of the stalls near the former site of Conrad Hall were closed to give contractors room for projects on the east end of campus.

Losses totaled over 100 stalls, resulting in a drop in the number of available permits from 1050 to 950 to reflect that change.

The resulting race to grab parking permits left around 130 students waitlisted as the number of permits requested passed the maximum that UNK Parking sells. 

While the maximum number of permits UNK Parking typically sells is more than the campus’s total dedicated Zone C capacity, that is accounted for by taking into consideration those who hold passes but may be off-campus at a given time. According to Eichholz, UNK Parking in a typical year has 880 dedicated Zone C stalls and caps their Zone C permit sales at 1050, representing a 19.3% planned oversale. Excess vehicles with Zone C permitts needing parking as a result are able to utilize mixed-use zones like Lot 14 by the College of Education or any perimiter areas where any UNK pass is valid.

This year, Eichholz estimates that there are currently 770 dedicated Zone C parking stalls available, and the permit sale cap was reduced to 950 to reflect that change, representing a planned oversale of 23.4%. Based on summing the number of permits sold with the estimated waitlist length and dividing by the number of dedicated Zone C stalls available, demand for Zone C spaces exceeded supply of dedicated stalls by 40.3% this year. The 130 person waitlist meant that the number of permits requested surpassed the 950 permit sales cap figure by 13.7% after six years without waitlists becoming necessary. To put that number into context, for every 100 people that hold passes there are 13 who are on a waitlist to get one.

In conjunction with the shortage, UNK Parking ticket issuances are down around 200 violations compared to this time last year, Eichholz said. Besides having fewer vehicles to warrant ticketing as the vehicle population fell, Eichholz points to having fewer student workers to issue tickets than in past years.

While the number of permits in use typically wanes as the semester continues as students disenroll, the majority of waitlisted Zone C requests would likely have to wait until the spring semester to get permits if parking availability remains unchanged.

New developments in parking plan to combat that problem.

 “We are recovering about half of what they’ve closed off of Lot Three,” Eichholz said. “So we will get back about 50 stalls.”

More conservative estimates hold that number at 30 to 40.

Further parking developments may provide more robust, long-term solutions.

“If you’ve been over around Warner Hall, you might have seen a flurry of activity around what used to be Luke and Jake’s,” Eichholz said. “They’re doing a lot of dirt work out there; that will be getting paved in the next two to three weeks. That’s going to become residential parking somewhere in the neighborhood of three to four weeks by the time that we get it paved, cured and painted.”

The new paved parking installation would add another 45 stalls potentially for Zone C use, bringing the rough total of additional stalls since the start of the school year to 95 in the best case scenario, which could get nearly three-quarters of people off the waitlist if they choose to purchase a permit once the spaces are available.

Of those on the waitlist, Eichholz said some will choose not to purchase a permit once they’re available after findng other solutions, such as parking in perimeter areas with perimeter parking permits or parking off-campus on the streets surrounding the university.

In the meantime, students without passes in need of a place to leave their car can continue to park on Kearney’s streets or at friends’ residences until more spaces become available. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *