The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

Committee discusses parking citations, lighting and updates to UNC's transportation

Violators of the new weeknight parking initiative will be issued educational warnings rather than initial citations, Director of Transportation & Parking at UNC Cheryl Stout said at a meeting on Wednesday. 

The nighttime citation process, she said, is expected to begin next semester. 

“It’s a pretty big cultural change on campus,” Stout said. “As we move into the next semester, we’ll still be cautious about citations.”

UNC's Advisory Committee on Transportation & Parking met on Wednesday afternoon to update community members on upcoming changes regarding parking on campus. 

Stout, the chairperson of the ACT, opened the meeting with a presentation to explain progress made in the new weeknight parking program, as a part of their Five-Year Plan.

The department is completely receipt-funded – meaning it does not receive any state funding – so the Five-Year Plan is trying to generate needed revenue for expenses through on-campus parking fees. 

During the presentation, Stout said the committee has engaged the campus community in an ongoing, comprehensive transition which includes a marketing, education and implementation phase for its new parking program. 

Stout said campus members with doubts and concerns about the new program should reach out directly to the Transportation and Parking Office. 

Christopher Payne, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and senior operating officer, echoed that sentiment. 

“I think the communication was really good," Payne said. "If there is feedback from students, in particular — undergraduate, graduate, professional, post-op — it would be good to continue to hear the feedback about any issues or concerns. Just because it is implanted, doesn’t mean we are not continuing to be responsive to clarify any misinformation or misunderstood information.”

The committee also discussed other changes expected on campus under its Five-Year Plan. 

Tentatively beginning in January, many parking decks — including the Rams Head, Jackson Circle, Cobb and  Business School parking decks — will have new LED lighting installed. 

"It’s just a better quality of lighting, and more efficient system,” Stout said.

New kiosks with updated Parking Access Revenue Control Systems will soon be installed in various lots across campus to better for pay for parking. 

"There are going to be a lot of operational changes with this new technology," Stout said.

While people may not see these changes until the beginning of next semester, Stout said the committee has been working on this transitional process for years. 

The new vendor for the PARCS system has already been selected, but Stouts said the full transition to the updated technology may take up to two years. She also said she hopes the lighting upgrades will begin soon, since the contracts have already gone out for bid. 

Stout said the committee hopes to implement other changes in the future, including night travel options available to students, bike share programming on campus and contributing to Safe Ride programs in Chapel Hill.

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