University parking lots will function under a drastically different system by next fall under a plan announced Wednesday to UW-Madison deans.
The plan, spearheaded by parking director Michael Lovejoy, will cut the types of lots from 23 to three and will pump money into the Metro Transit System. Lovejoy also plans on cutting down the 900 permits that are currently available.
“Right now we’ve got more exceptions than rules,” he said.
Lovejoy said the new plan is necessary because of impending construction, which will cut about 1,000 spaces across campus.
UW will host three categories of lots under the new plan:
1) Lots that require permits from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., after which they are available for free public parking.
2) Lots that require a base lot permit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., after which any car bearing a permit can park for free.
3) Lots that require permits and are enforced 24/7.
The different lots will be scattered throughout campus.
Lovejoy said the parking committee has had input from police, who are concerned with lots that are frequented by drug dealers and in close proximity to taverns.
In addition to lot changes, UW will also be raising its parking meter fees in accordance with the city. Instead of 75 cents an hour, meters will now cost $1. Lovejoy said that $45,000 of that money will go toward more busses for the Metro Transit System, and $400,000 will go to the Park and Ride Shuttle system.
Staff and faculty will be most affected by the changes, which will go into effect next fall. Lovejoy said only 300 students who commute to UW qualify for lot parking permits.
UW junior Kristy Diana is one of those students, and she says she approves of the new system.
“Before, I would get parking tickets because I was confused about what different lots required,” she said. “I hope this helps to make things easier.”
The campus transportation committee is endorsing the plan this week, and parking packets will be sent to the campus community in April.
Lovejoy said the plan has received general approval so far, but he expects more feedback when people learn the plan’s details.
“I’m the guy who’s going to be congratulated or crucified for this,” he said.