The University Record, January 10, 2000

‘Blue Crunch Lot’ to help Central Campus parkers

By Diane Brown
Facilities and Operations

The early morning line-up at the Thompson Street Parking Structure on Central Campus. The ‘Blue Crunch Lot’ at Elbel Field will alleviate some of the frustration felt by those who have been unable to find parking spots in this structure and others on Central Campus during the middle of the day. Photo by Bob Kalmbach
A pilot parking and transportation service will be offered beginning today (Jan. 10) for Central Campus area parkers. The “Blue Crunch Lot”—the surface parking area at Elbel Field (next to Hill Street)— will be open for Blue permit holders 9:45 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Friday. Parkers will be transported to their Central Campus destinations via a free on-site taxi service and will be returned to their vehicles at a mutually pre-arranged time.

“Even though we established 208 new Blue parking spaces on Central Campus in November, we know there are still peak times when locating a parking space is very difficult,” says Pat Cunningham, director of Parking and Transportation Services. “We think the Blue Crunch Lot will help faculty and others who are coming to campus for an hour or two during the ‘crunch’ part of the day after the structures are full.”

Vehicles will be allowed to enter the lot only during the specified hours and must have a valid Blue U-M parking permit. Return trips to the lot will be available 24 hours per day.

“We’ll have several taxis warmed and waiting at the lot to take parkers to their destinations,” Cunningham says, “though for this semester, we’ll only be able to transport people within Central Campus. The lot coordinator will record the parker’s anticipated return. If parkers don’t know when they’ll return, we’ll give them a telephone number to call one hour in advance of their pick-up time.”

In addition, to help ease the parking crunch, Parking and Transportation Services, in partnership with the Department of Public Safety, will increase monitoring of the Central Campus parking structure entrances each morning at the beginning of winter term. Structure monitors will check to ensure that only vehicles with the proper permits are entering the parking areas.

“We know the winter season brings increased parking challenges,” Cunningham says, “so we’re trying to listen to our customers, evaluate their ideas and make parking improvements where we can.

“As part of our long-range planning, we anticipate having improved technology at the existing structures to manage the structure access as well as an increase of 1,000–1,500 spaces on Central Campus. For this winter, we believe the Blue Crunch Lot and the 208 new spaces will provide relief.”

For more information on the Blue Crunch Lot, call Parking and Transportation Services, 764-8291, or visit the Web at