URI to make more parking available to students
Officials plan for parking shifts as construction projects continue
KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 28, 2001 -- Students who drive to the University of Rhode Islands Kingston Campus this fall will have access to 160 more parking spaces in the Fine Arts building parking lot.
University officials have decided to return the lot to its full capacity of 1,030 parking spaces by reopening a paved area that has in the past been used by the marching band to practice for its halftime shows at football games. The area was striped like a football field. The band will now practice in the athletics area.
"The students have been asking that we reopen that area for several years," said Kathleen Mallon, URI director of strategic planning and institutional research. Mallon is overseeing parking coordination on the Kingston Campus as part of the master planning process.
Mallon has been meeting with student leaders, campus facilities service, police and security personnel, and others on campus to develop a plan to ease the disruption on campus that will result from the various construction projects that will be occurring this fall.
As part of the plan, students will no longer have access to about 100 parking spaces off Briar Lane when school opens in September. Instead, all 440 spaces there will be for faculty and staff.
Despite the loss of those spaces, the students will gain a total of 60 spaces as the Fine Arts lot is returned to full capacity.
" Receiving a gain of 60 student parking spaces right before the start of school will hopefully ease some of the parking tension at the start of the fall semester," said Student Senate President Michael Jordan. "I feel that although we lose some of the convenience held in the parking spots behind the Information Center, the net gain of spots compensates for that loss. We need to continue to work together to try and find more creative compromises like this one to solve our parking problem here on campus."
These steps are being taken, as the parking lot behind Ranger Hall will be converted from a 41-space lot to a staging area for the renovation projects set for Ranger and Green halls. Faculty, staff and visitors have used those spaces. However, about half of the motorists who parked there worked in Green Hall for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Admissions has since been relocated to the renovated former fraternity building at 14 Upper College Road, which has its own 30 parking spaces.
Mallon said the remaining cars that would have parked behind Ranger will be able to park in the lot off Briar Lane, near the University Club or in the Watson House/Roosevelt Lots.
o The University is completing work on a 32-space lot next to Independence Hall
o Fraternity Circle and Keaney Lot, with 95 spaces and 1,405 spaces respectively, have been freshly paved and repainted.
o A new campus shuttle route has been added. It will serve Fraternity Circle and the Quad area.
o Two bus shelters have been installed along Upper College Road in cooperation with the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority that will serve passengers on both RIPTA business and the campus shuttle.
o Parking behind Roosevelt Hall, the University Library and near Watson House will be reopened in October, following completion of the new lot construction and paving.
"We have been working throughout the summer to make the parking, campus shuttle, and traffic circulation changes necessary to accommodate the construction on campus and to make the first few weeks of school as hassle-free as possible in terms of traffic and parking," Mallon said. "We still have some great challenges with parking and traffic here, and we appreciate everyones cooperation and patience."
For informationi: Kathleen Mallon 401-874-4461, Robert Drapeau 401-874-5477, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116