UNC Asheville Determines Parking Plan for 2004-05 Academic Year
UNC Asheville is facing a significant challenge this fall concerning parking. This past spring, the University engaged in a planning process to assess many parking options, including the possibility of using 2.5 acres of its 46-acre South Campus for parking. This particular option was the subject of considerable conversation in the community.
Parking Plan for 2004-05: Following a thorough analysis of permanent and temporary options, UNC Asheville has determined not to utilize the 2.5 acres on South Campus for parking next fall and instead use other available areas, as follows:
- Temporarily convert the use of three open areas on the central campus to create a total of 100 parking spaces. These lots will be located behind the tennis courts, adjacent to the baseball field, and next to campus printing services.
- Postpone the temporary loss of 70 parking spaces and the permanent loss of 75 by delaying the construction of a new science building until after the May 2005 Commencement. The University will work with architects and contractors to assure that the building opens on schedule.
- Work with the Offices of Admissions and Student Life to institute a plan limiting
on-campus parking by freshmen.
- Use University-owned property on Nantahala Street, just off Vivian Avenue, as a parking area. This site, formerly an elementary school, has the advantage of an existing parking lot and former playground that can accommodate 80-100 parking spaces when redesigned.
* UNC Asheville will utilize the former elementary school site in a manner that assures
the safety of students, does not adversely affect the streetscape, and recognizes the
needs of neighbors, their children and their pets. The University will work with the City of
Asheville to monitor traffic conditions.
* The lot will be lighted, fenced and gated, and will have an emergency callbox. A lighted
walkway to campus will be built. Cars assigned to this lot will have identifying hangtags.
Students who use this parking area and return to campus late at night will be permitted
to park on the main campus and move their cars prior to 8 a.m. classes the next day.
UNC Asheville's Public Safety officers will increase patrolling in the area.
* The University is working with an engineering firm to develop the parking area.
Construction will be paid for through receipts from campus parking fees; the cost is
currently being determined. Work on the site is expected to begin in two to four weeks.
Long-Range Parking and Land-Management Planning: UNC Asheville will continue its master planning and parking management efforts in several areas:
- Traffic and Parking: During the 2004-05 academic year, UNC Asheville will develop a long-range plan to manage traffic and parking challenges. The University has completed a traffic and parking study, is engaged in a campus master planning process, and will shortly add a transportation planner to its staff. The planning process will include campus discussion involving faculty, staff and students, who pay the parking fees which fund the University's parking services, lots and decks.
- Bus Service: UNC Asheville will continue to work with the Asheville Transit System. The University will build on the success of the Bulldog Express bus service, now in its fifth year. This University-subsidized service provides students with weekend transportation from campus to businesses along Merrimon Avenue, the Asheville Mall, and to locations throughout downtown. In addition, the city currently provides limited but regular bus service to campus.
- South Campus Management: UNC Asheville will review the management of its South Campus, bordered by W.T. Weaver Boulevard and Broadway. The South Campus will remain available for community enjoyment. The University will enforce policies regarding camping, fires, alcohol, firearms, and clearing or planting of vegetation. The University will identify property boundaries with signage. Those wishing to use the South Campus for group events will need to request use, as they would for any other campus location.
- Long-term Land-Management Planning: Under the guidance of its Board of Trustees,
UNC Asheville will develop a long-term, land-management plan for the approximately 100 acres of University property contiguous to the central campus. This property includes the South Campus. UNC Asheville administration, faculty, staff and students will be involved in this process, aided by the University's master planners. Community conversations will also be part of this effort. The University's Board of Trustees is entrusted with responsible stewardship of all University property.
Increased Demand for Parking: Many factors, all resulting from the success of UNC Asheville, have contributed to the need for additional parking.
- More Students on Campus: Freshman enrollment increased from 400 to 600 (33 percent) between 1993-94 and 2003-04. UNC Asheville is expecting well over 700 freshmen this fall, the largest freshman class in the University's history. In addition, last fall
UNC Asheville completed a new residence hall, allowing additional students to live on campus. Students arrive for the fall semester Saturday, August 14, 2004.
- New Academic Buildings: In addition to the new residence hall and Reuter Center,
UNC Asheville is moving ahead with five construction projects, totaling $50 million and funded through the 2000 statewide bond referendum. Two new buildings will be sited on current parking lots to preserve the academic core of the campus, which adds to the parking crunch.
- Greater Public Participation: Public participation in the academic, cultural, and athletic activities on campus is increasing. More than 18,000 people are expected this summer at the Concerts on the Quad series, another 15,000 at cultural and special events this fall, and more than 25,000 at athletic events in the coming academic year. The new Reuter Center is home to the growing North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement and its 1,600 participants.
- Merianne Epstein, UNCA Public Information Director, 828/251-6676