Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update first

Parking & Transportation: Go Blue, Think Green

Read how some dedicated bicyclists pedal their way to work, in Monday's University Record.



It’s summertime, and the living — if not driving to work — should be easy. Campus commuters, however, may have a hard time finding a parking spot, particularly this summer, as several parking structures are being spruced up or expanded.

Parking structure and
lot projects in the works

• A net 273-space addition to the Thompson Street parking structure is part of the university’s strategic plan to address growth in demand and to replace spaces lost on Central Campus due to other construction projects, including the Joan and Sanford Weill Hall and Perry Building addition. Approximately 200 spaces will be out of service during the next year.

• Miscellaneous parking structure repairs and routine structural maintenance are being performed at the Taubman parking structure (Parking A) on East Medical Center Drive. Work has begun in the north end of the structure on Level 2, in the east parking row. While Level 2 is under construction, parking spaces on Level 1A also will be closed to avoid any hazards from overhead debris. Approximately 120 parking spaces will be closed.

• 10 Gold Permit parking spaces and 12 Blue Permit parking spaces have been closed in the parking lot at State/Monroe/Oakland in order to accommodate the start of the Law School Academic Building and Hutchins Hall Law School Commons addition. The entire lot will be permanently closed for the project in late September.

“Summer is the best time to renovate U-M’s aging parking structures because the weather generally is better, more people are on vacation and there are fewer cars on campus,” says David Miller, executive director of Parking & Transportation. “We want to minimize the inconvenience to the campus community.”

Parking & Transportation Services is repairing age-related damage now to prevent safety hazards and to save money in the future, he says. “If surfaces are allowed to deteriorate, the damage can lead to the decay of other components within a structure, such as the metal rods that reinforce the concrete,” Miller says.

To help employees cope with the temporary loss of parking spaces this summer, Parking & Transportation Services has launched a “Go Blue, Think Green” campaign that suggests the following green transportation options to save money and help reduce the university’s carbon footprint (aka Wolverine paw print):

• Park free (with U-M ID). Park at one of three Park & Ride commuter lots and take an AATA or U-M bus to campus, or exchange your parking permit for an Orange Permit (and save money), park at the Glazier Way Lot (Glazier Way and Huron Parkway) or the Crisler Arena lots (Kipke Drive) and take the U-M Commuter bus to campus.

• Vanpooling. University-subsidized vans allow riders to share the cost of gasoline while riding to work. The program is open to all U-M employees who can ride the van at least four days a week.

• Carpooling. Drivers can share the cost of a parking permit via pre-tax payroll deductions, and can even request a reserved parking space for a modest fee.

• GreenRide ride-matching for carpooling and vanpooling. This free service helps match U-M staff members who live near one another, have similar work schedules and want to share rides. Go to umich.greenride.com/en-US/

• Zipcar.  This car-sharing service provides 24/7 access to 13 Zipcars parked on campus in five convenient locations, in addition to four in two locations in downtown Ann Arbor.  Zipcars rent for $8 per hour, $60 per day, gas and insurance included. To apply for Zipcar membership, go to www.zipcar.com/umich/

• Walking. Free, healthy and fun, walking reduces the number of cars on campus, cuts pollution and provides exercise.

• Biking and rollerblading. Biking and rollerblading offer the health and environmental benefits of walking but are faster.

• Motorcycles and mopeds. Motorcycles and mopeds provide fun and economical transportation. Recently expanded moped parking at specific bicycle parking loops is available at multiple locations throughout campus. For motorcycle and moped parking locations, go to www.pts.umich.edu/alternative_transportation/motorcycles.php

Parking & Transportation Services will start to display Wolverine paw prints in its commuting options promotions as friendly reminders to help individuals become more aware of their green contributions, Miller says.