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Thursday May 26th

Everything you need to know about the Weeknight Parking Program before it starts

Logan Brackett, manager for the UNC Department of Romance Studies, exits his car on Stadium Dr. on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. A five-year plan launched by the Department of Transportation and Parking includes provisions for weeknight parking permits, fee increases and new rules to generate revenue. "It seems like a nickel and dime approach for fees," he said. "Students don't seem like the main beneficiaries here, so it seems odd to charge them."
Buy Photos Logan Brackett, manager for the UNC Department of Romance Studies, exits his car on Stadium Dr. on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. A five-year plan launched by the Department of Transportation and Parking includes provisions for weeknight parking permits, fee increases and new rules to generate revenue. "It seems like a nickel and dime approach for fees," he said. "Students don't seem like the main beneficiaries here, so it seems odd to charge them."

A plan to charge for weeknight parking will go into effect this August. The plan is a component of UNC Transportation and Parking’s Five-Year Plan, which began in 2017 and focuses on various aspects of parking management for the Carolina community.

“Students are going to pay a $6 fee, and they can register for a permit for that fee,” Cheryl Stout, director of Transportation and Parking, said. “All students are eligible, excluding first-year undergraduates who are not eligible to have parking on campus. Employees who work after 5 p.m. will have the ability to purchase a weeknight parking permit that’s done on a sliding scale.”

According to Christopher Payne, associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs, these new charges were implemented after consideration of opinions in the UNC community.

“And so, I think from my perspective, if there’s anything that’s different, it’s that this particular effort for this five-year process has really worked to be intentional about engaging students and faculty and staff in the process,” Payne said. “Inviting feedback, inviting comments and questions so that there can be less confusion and more accurate information about what the implementation plan and the impact is going to be on all of our members of the University community.”

Stout said the operational component for the Weeknight Parking Program is being organized now.

“We’re working on the operations piece of it now,” Stout said. “Students will be able to register online, so they’ll pay the fee. So, they’ll just be registering for their permit. They’ll be able to do that ... beginning in July. Employees will register for weeknight parking permits through their department, through the employee registration process, if they don’t already have a daytime permit.”

Carlos Patiño Descovich, the director of Sustainability and Transportation of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, underlined the importance of representation in discussion on transportation policies.

“So, speaking from a non-graduate student’s perspective, you have staff and third-shift workers that are definitely going to be affected by this sort of thing and I think that it’s important that they have representatives on the table,” Descovich said.

Descovich also spoke about how crucial proper communication is for the Weeknight Parking Program. 

“Is this communication only going to happen for one year, or is this something that is going to be communicated for every new group of people joining UNC?” Descovich said. “It’s not an obvious thing. I don’t know many schools that have late night parking passes, and so I think it’s important that they keep communicating that every year ... and I hope that they do.”

More expansive and updated information about the Weeknight Parking Program can be found on Transportation and Parking’s website at move.unc.edu.

“We’ve got the opportunity, if individuals have questions, to submit those questions so we can answer those directly,” Stout said. “So, I just would continue to recommend our website as a good source of information.”

@praveenasoma

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