Dec. 2, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 7
University to Delay Start of Parking Fees Until June
Seeking more time to address issues that have emerged since the implementation this fall of a new University parking improvement plan, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Patricia Bando has announced that the on-campus parking fees, originally scheduled to begin in January 2005, will not take effect until June 1.
Bando said she was pleased with the positive response she has received from the BC community regarding improved parking enforcement regulations and the number of spaces that it has generated throughout campus. But she said additional time will be needed to secure the technology, transportation support systems and staff training to successfully implement the parking fee plan in June.
"In listening to BC employees, we heard that our efforts at improving enforcement of parking regulations had increased the number of spaces available to faculty and staff throughout campus," said Bando. "Through the enforcement efforts of the BC Police Department, we have eliminated the scores of people with no connection to the University who had been using our campus as a commuter parking lot, as well as most of the unauthorized parking by BC students and their non-BC friends that had overburdened our supply of spaces.
"Nonetheless, we also heard complaints from the University community involving the allotment of spaces in garages and parking lots across campus and the lack of access for conferences and special events," said Bando. "After listening to people's concerns, we decided it would be best to resolve all of our issues before implementing parking fees."
The University announced in late August that it was instituting a parking improvement plan that would begin with improved enforcement in September and the implementation of on-campus parking fees in January. BC cited several factors as the impetus for the plan, including campus security, concerns over the environmental and community impact of increased parking congestion, and the need to shift the burden of the University's parking costs away from student tuition.
Bando, who meets regularly with a parking committee, says committee members benefited from listening to various campus constituencies and responding to their concerns. She says the group views on-going communication as essential to the ultimate goal of improving parking for all BC employees and guests.
"One of the things we need to communicate to the BC Community is the need to contact the Transportation and Parking Office with their specific parking requests," said Bando. "When faculty, administrators or staff book their events or conferences they need to book parking as well by contacting the Transportation office via the Transportation Web site [www.bc.edu/offices/transportation/parking/visitor/form/].
Bando said she has been gratified by the response from the University community: People find the proposed parking fees to be reasonable, she says, and more commuters are taking advantage of the car-pooling and ride-sharing options that BC has arranged as an environmentally friendly alternative to on-campus commuting.
Over the course of the next six months Bando says the parking committee will continue to explore all available options to come up with the best parking system for Boston College.
"We will use the months ahead to train gate attendants to be a welcoming presence, continue to improve our Web site and consumer feedback processes, and implement the most efficient and user-supportive system for our campus entrances," said Bando.
"We have every confidence that by the time we implement our parking fee structure in June we will have further improved the overall parking experience for everyone at Boston College."
-Public Affairs Staff •