The University Record, August 13, 1996

Delivery, service vehicles will have better access to loading docks

Scenes like this will become less frequent with new regulations that limit the types of U-M vehicles that can park at entrances and loading docks. Service and delivery vehicles will have top priority to perform necessary services.

Photo by Bob Kalmbach

By Rebecca A. Doyle


University vehicles and the U-M's fleet of service vehicles will have a new parking system at loading docks and access sites to University buildings beginning Sept. 1.

Following a two-year study of the problem, the Service Access Team recommended a plan to alleviate obstructions at University buildings. The problem, the 10 team members determined, was that "service vehicle operators, making deliveries or performing maintenance services that are vital to building occupants, cannot find reasonable, close access. This adds to the delivery costs if drivers must leave and return, and it drives up maintenance costs if the vehicle has to be parked far from the work location." Their report also noted that "vehicles are frequently observed on sidewalks where they obstruct traffic and pose hazardous conditions for pedestrians and the disabled."

"We recognize that parking is a problem at the entire University," says team member William L. Griffin, assistant manager at Mail Service. "We were looking for the best way to utilize that space with the least displacement."

The team proposed that areas around loading docks or delivery and pickup points be defined as the building's service center. Parking within that area should be restricted to those who make deliveries to or provide service for the building, and that those vehicles should have permits that will determine where they can park. They defined the following types of vehicles and parking areas:


U-M service vehicles typically will be work or delivery-type vans and trucks. These vehicles will be issued a permit through University Parking Services as long as they meet the requirement that they be used for service on a daily basis or provide maintenance and repair services.


Other U-M vehicles, including holders of white cards, may use spaces designated for U-M vehicles in structures and surface lots. These are transportation-type vehicles, but may also use loading zones if they are actively loading and unloading. They are subject to a limit of 30 minutes in loading zones and may not park in designated U-M service vehicle spaces.


Loading zones are short-term-access spaces intended to be used for those making deliveries and pickups at campus buildings. They may be used by U-M owned vehicles, white card holders and vendors for a limit of 30 minutes.

New signs identifying the areas where vehicles will be allowed to park will be posted by the end of this month.

Griffin says it is more important than ever for units to be cost effective, and "having to circle around a building until a space opens or reschedule a delivery are inefficiencies we can no longer afford."

Others on the Service Access Team are Patrick Cunningham, manager of Transportation Services; Douglas W. Fasing, manager of Grounds and Waste Management; James M. Kaufman, director of Maintenance Services; Susan A. Kirkpatrick, manager of Parking Services; Frederick W. Mayer, University planner; Robert D. Patrick, associate director, Department of Public Safety; Kenneth W. Rapp, Plant landscape architect; Alan Stevens, coordinator of customer services, Plant Operations; and Bonny Anne Webber, manager University Stores.