The University Record, February 15, 1999

Trade in your Blue or Gold permit and park free ’til April 30

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Tired of circling through the University’s parking structures only to find there’s no space left, even on the top level? Are you open to saving money?

If you have a current Blue or Gold parking permit, you may want to take advantage of a new plan offered by Parking and Transportation Services: exchange your Blue or Gold permit for a Yellow or Orange one before the end of February and park free in one of the six lots (see box) until April 30.

That can save a Gold permit-holder $173.75 or a Blue permit-holder $86.25 over the two-and-one-half-month period. After the trial period, faculty and staff who have traded in their Blue or Gold permits would again need to purchase a permit for whichever parking option they chose.

Parking and Transportation Service staff hope, however, that those who have tried it will discover the advantages of parking in a more remote location and elect to remain in Yellow or Orange parking.

“Everybody wants to park as close as possible; everybody feels entitled to that kind of parking option because of the rates we have to pay for parking permits,” says Diane De la Torre, coordinator of Parking Services. “But there is simply limited parking availability in any given area.” De la Torre says that the unit understands there is a greater demand for parking on campus than there has been in the past, and recognizes that people get frustrated.

“Everybody agrees that someone will have to park in the offsite areas, but most expect it to be the other person.”

De la Torre says that a number of factors have contributed to the parking crunch on Central Campus, and Parking and Transportation Services is actively looking into reports of parking violations that include permits held by those who are ineligible for them and misuse of handicapped permits.

“Faculty and staff must have a minimum appointment to be eligible to purchase a permit,” De la Torre says. “However, some faculty and staff buy the passes not to use for themselves but to sell to those who don’t qualify.

“We are taking steps to correct these instances when we find them,” she says.

Penalties for using a parking permit that is not issued to you can range from being suspended from the parking system for up to two years to being terminated from employment. “It is a huge risk to take a permit and use it if you are not eligible,” De la Torre warns. “This campus is growing and expanding and we are limited by land resources and the amount of time it takes to develop any one site, even if there is land available. The most immediate way the parking situation will be improved is by voluntary use of offsite vacancies by those who can use them.”

Would you benefit from trading in that Gold or Blue permit?

If you answer yes to the following questions, you could probably save yourself some money and aggravation by trading in your Blue or Gold sticker for 75 days of free parking.

• Do you most often leave your car in one spot when you arrive on campus?

• Do you have a flexible enough schedule that you can occasionally be a few minutes late for work or leave a few minutes early?

• Do you generally not need your car during the day to travel during work hours?

If you would like to trade in your permit or need more information, contact: Parking and Transportation Services, 508 Thompson St.; 764-8291, option 7; or

Orange and yellow lots that will be open to those wishing to exercise the park-for-free option are:

North Campus: NC46 on Hubbard and NC53 on Hayward, with U-M Commuter bus service every 20 min.

South Campus: SC4 on Kipke near Michigan Stadium, SC5 Kipke Dr. across from Transportation Services, SC17 at Wolverine Tower, SC9 at the Coliseum (no bus service to lot) and SC35 on Keech St. and Main, with U-M Commuter bus service at Hoover and Green every 20 min.