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 March 24, 2000 Volume 7, Number 13


About OCN

Front Page


the Bowl



Letters to
the Editor


from HRD




Two-month study to develop plan to ease parking shortage

The University of Saskatchewan has decided to act quickly to address the growing parking shortage problem on campus.

Administration reports state that the U of S decided earlier this month to hire a Winnipeg engineering and transportation consulting company to do a quick study and develop a campus parking strategy within two months.

The reports say the firm DS-Lea Consultants, in association with the Saskatoon firm Crosby Hanna and Associates, is being hired to do the study – aimed at helping the University "make some immediate planning decisions" that will improve the parking situation on campus.

The study will "identify development costs, market values, traffic and infrastructure requirements" and will "recommend a parking fee structure."

It will also look at the current supply of parking spots, "identify future changes to parking supply", look at future parking demand on campus, and "establish location opportunities for parkades and/or surface lots."

The University is also asking that the study pay particular attention to planning issues in the "southeast quadrant" of campus.

This study comes just a few months after the U of S settled with the federal tax agency over the taxable monthly value of parking stalls – raising it to $20.66 from $8. Currently employees pay the U of S the $8 per month and are assessed tax on the taxable benefit above that, of $12.66. In future the University may charge the full $20.66 as the monthly fee and use the revenue to build more parking facilities on campus.

University documents state the quick two-month study is just "Phase 1" of a two-phase parking initiative.

Phase 2 will be a longer-term integration of the Phase 1 parking plan into an overall Campus Master Plan process. This larger part of the parking initiative will take up to eight months.

U of S rationale for the quick action includes the following:

  • "In recent years the ‘parking problem’ ... has been a growing concern for the student body, staff and faculty members, residents of Saskatoon, and many visitors to the campus."

  • "Factors that are influencing the definition of the problem include a major construction boom on campus, changes in the off-campus parking in the Varsity View residential area, changes in parking fees on campus, and the initiation of a Campus Master Plan."

  • "There is also a general planning principle that there won’t be any more construction of surface parking facilities, in part because of the University’s commitment to preserving green space and the need to use surface parking areas as building sites to ensure highest and best use of land."

  • "The growing concerns about parking on campus indicate that changes in the demand has not been compensated by the supply."

The University’s steering committee for the parking study consists of: Bob Ferguson Assistant Director of Security Services & Parking; Ken Turner, Chair, U of S Parking Committee; Aaron Dougan, U of S Students’ Union President-Elect; and Larry Harder, Director of Planning and Engineering.

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