URI to discuss draft parking report for Kingston Campus
with South Kingstown Town Council
Council to meet with University
officials tonight at Town Hall
KINGSTON, R.I. -- January 29, 2001 -- Representatives of the University
of Rhode Island have begun discussing a draft report on parking at URI's
Kingston Campus that includes options such as a $13.8 million, 1,000-space
parking garage, gated lots, parking fees, improved campus shuttle service
and increased staffing to improve parking management. Kathleen Mallon,
executive assistant to the president and URI director of strategic planning
and institutional research will be on hand at this evening's South Kingstown
Town Council meeting to discuss the plan's recommendations.
The report, prepared by Chance Management Advisors, Inc., Philadelphia,
is due to the University in final form early in February.
Chance was retained as a subconsultant to Goody Clancy & Associates,
URI's consultant on its master plan,
"The draft report was distributed to town officials as soon as we
received it so they would be able to read it fully, and offer comments this
evening," said Mallon. "We are going to be at tonight's meeting
to answer questions and listen for ideas and workable solutions not yet
included in our thinking. We want to continue to work with the community
to address both campus and local traffic and parking issues." Mallon
Even without the 8,000-seat Convocation Center, which is set to open
in fall 2002, the report confirms findings in the URI Master Plan that suggested
that the URI parking system is operating beyond its capacity. In 1999-2000,
there were 9,789 parking permits issued, but only 6,175 spaces were available.
A team working for Chance Management collected data on parking conditions
at URI on Sept. 20. "The counts conducted on Sept. 20 reflected earlier
findings in the master plan, but showed even more that the URI parking system
is operating beyond its capacity," the report says.
In fact from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the system was operating beyond capacity.
During the hours of 10 a.m. to 11 a.m, and 1 to 2 p.m., the system was operating
just slightly below capacity.
"The substantial discrepancy between the number of parking permits
issued and the number of parking spaces suggests that URI may simply not
have enough parking spaces for its peak parking demand," the report
The report continues by saying that with different scheduling, the peak
demand might be somewhat mitigated. "We may see the effects of spreading
the class schedule out over a wider timeframe," Mallon said, "as
we have had to adjust the spring class schedule in just this way to accommodate
the loss of classrooms in Ballentine and Chafee Halls."
Beyond the master planning recommendations for relocating parking from
the core of the campus to outlying areas, the University is also faced with
the parking needs of the Convocation Center. The report says 2,600 spaces
will be needed for sold-out events at the facility. There are 20 such events
projected for the Center each year.
The proposed garage would be a five-deck facility, 220 feet wide by 360
feet long, and will provide about 1,000 spaces. It would be located at the
intersections of West Alumni Avenue and Butterfield Road, between White
Hall and the Phi Gamma Fraternity house. The garage spaces have been included
in the event parking plan for the Convocation Center, which means they must
be open in the evenings and on weekends.
The consultant recommends that the garage be operated during weekdays
using a card-activated system, with no attendants. The University plans
to include all event parking fees in ticket prices, eliminating the need
for parking attendants to handle cash. Though the price of parking will
be built into all tickets for the general public, Mallon said students will
continue to get their basketball tickets for free. Like everyone else though,
their tickets for concerts and other events will include a contribution
to the cost of parking.
If the garage is not built, another option would be to construct a new
L-shaped lot at the corner of Plains Road and West Alumni Avenue, which
is now an open field used for football parking.
The report suggests a gated system for many of the campus lots, which
would greatly eliminate the need for parking enforcement, resulting in lower
operating costs. Gates can be integrated with parking software so that access
to certain lots is restricted to specific user groups at certain times.
There are several different types of cards on the market, but the most traditional
is the swipe card, which requires motorists to swipe their cards through
a card reader.
Chance Management also agrees with the master plan in the need for the
creation of a URI Transportation and Parking Office to manage the operations.
Currently, parking is just one of the many functions for which the Campus
Police are responsible. The report also recommends that dedication of a
full-time transportation and parking director, along with various support
personnel, all paid for from parking fee and enforcement revenues.
In terms of parking reallocation and funding scenarios, the master plan
recommends two options, each of which is based on a two-part transportation/parking
fee structure that includes a mandatory student transportation fee of $15
per year and an additional parking use fee for everyone who drives to campus.
1. The traditional plan would divide the community into familiar campus
categories: resident students, commuter students, faculty staff and visitors
with premium parking in the campus core and less-than-premium parking on
The annual fees for this plan range as follows:
o Mandatory Student Transportation Fee - $15
o Commuter, premium -- $220
o Commuter, peripheral -- $110
o Resident, premium -- $220
o Resident, peripheral -- $110
o Faculty/Staff, premium -- $220
o Faculty/Staff, peripheral, Keaney, dining services lots and proposed
new L-shaped lot at Plains Road and West Alumni Avenue. -- $0
2. The second model is a market-based strategy that is based on the principle
that all user groups should have the opportunity to purchase parking in
prime locations, provided they are willing to pay for it. According to
the report, " a pure market alternative would result in a situation
where supply of permits exactly matched demand."
The annual fees for the market system would range from $400 for the new
garage to $75 for the Keaney lot, dining services or the proposed new lot
at Plains Road and West Alumni Avenue. The University must provide free
parking spaces for faculty and staff, and the designated locations would
be the lots at Keaney, dining services or the proposed new lot.
In all plans, additional revenues would be generated from parking meters
for visitors' spaces; parking fines and event parking.
With the entire parking and transportation system in place, total revenues
in the first year of operation are projected to be $1.87 million. Expenses
are estimated at $1.79 million.
Mallon said the draft report has been shared with campus constituencies
and when received, the final report will be discussed on campus through
the spring semester, so that everyone will be able to comment on it. Representatives
of the local community will also be invited to hear the consultant's presentation.
She said that the next step would be the development of a proposal which
would have to be approved by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher
Education in the fall of 2001, so that any costs and revenues associated
with implementation can be built into the budget for the following year.
Mallon said the goal is to have a comprehensive parking system in place
for the fall semester of 2002.
For Information: Kathy Mallon 874-4461, Dave Lavallee 874-2116