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PR Lot Might Expand, Add 500-Space Annex

The PR lot has 532 spaces for student and faculty use. A new surface lot will be built adjacent to the existing PR lot to create 500 additional spaces.

There are now 480 spaces on campus designated for students living in residence halls, but those spaces likely will be eliminated by the year 2005.

Assistant Director of Parking Services Cheryl Stout said she is excited about the addition to the lot. "Certainly there will be a benefit to students who need a storage area for their car," she said.

But officials are not sure how many of the new spaces will be slated for student use.

Derek Poarch, director of the Department of Public Safety, said the 500 additional spaces are a preliminary number and that the additional lot is still in design stages.

But Poarch said additional spaces in the PR lot is an attainable goal. "We're going to squeeze all we can squeeze," he said.

He said the issue will be discussed in future Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee meetings.

The PR lot is located off campus in a relatively undeveloped area on Estes Drive. Stout said it should be easy to add the 500-space lot adjacent to the current PR lot.

She said any change in transit to and from the PR lot would be negotiated through TPAC.

Poarch said the University will work with the town to improve transit options. "We're going to do everything we can to make trips out there quicker and more reliable," he said.

Mary Lou Kuschatka, Chapel Hill Transit transportation director, said there are three bus routes traveling to the PR lot, with the last trip to the lot leaving at 10:34 p.m.

Kuschatka said she understands that there might be a need to change elements of the transportation system with the PR lot's expansion.

Poarch said TPAC is considering other options to solve the problem of limited student parking, such as parking programs and other PR lots, but negotiations still are under review.

The DPS now offers parking passes to 600 applicants for the 480 spaces available on campus.

Stout said an excess of applications are accepted every year because a certain portion of students choose not to park on campus after all.

Stout said this system has never yielded more student acceptances than there are spaces.

She added that there are no plans to alter this system with the additions to the PR lot.

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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