The University Record, February 25, 1997
University business, service vehicles have
By Rebecca A. Doyle
What has almost as many colors as the new M & M candies, sprouts up faster than ragweed and is less understood than your favorite member of the opposite sex?
Parking signs at the University of Michigan!
In surface lots all over campus, designated spaces for University business vehicles, service vehicles and loading zones have joined the gold, blue, yellow, orange, green and red signs. The changes are in response to a need for University vehicles, delivery vans and repair units to park near their worksites, as found in a study by the Service Access Quality Improvement Team last year.
The team found that U-M vehicles that deliver regularly to campus units or perform maintenance in U-M buildings occasionally parked on sidewalks and blocked entrances when U-M business vehicles occupied parking areas set aside for University vehicle parking. They recommended that the category be divided into two.
"Recommendations from the Service Access Team (SAT) have affected staff parking, but not to a tremendous degree," says Diane DelaTorre, administrative associate at University Parking Services. While there are a few more spaces requested in the SAT recommendations, the total in the two categories is not many more than were designated for University vehicles, she notes.
Some faculty and staff circling surface parking lots for empty spaces may grumble that spaces they normally use are being nibbled away by designated parking. For most faculty and staff, the new signs are just a curiosity, not a problem. Those who have paid for parking permits and know where they can stash their cars from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. may glance at the new signs and wonder for a minute, but nothing more.
But for those who park in small surface lots, where sometimes 30 percent of the spaces are now designated for one thing or another, more explanation may be in order.
U-M service vehicles---The only vehicle allowed to park here has a U-M license, is usually a truck or van, and either provides maintenance and repair worker transportation or a daily delivery of goods or tools and equipment. Permits are required.
U-M business vehicles---These are any vehicles used for University business-related transportation and are within a reasonable distance of campus buildings. Permits are required. Faculty and staff may apply for these permits, but must also hold a paid parking permit that is gold, blue, yellow or orange.
Loading Zone---Vehicles are allowed to use these spaces only for 30 minutes and must have a permit.
DelaTorre notes that Medical Campus and North Campus parkers may not notice as much change as those on Central Campus since additional staff parking spaces have been added in the past year. Medical Campus has added more than 1,500 new spaces and North Campus also has added spaces.
The Regents also recently approved the design of a new Central Campus structure that would increase available staff parking by 600-700 spaces. The new facility on Palmer Drive is now in the planning stage.