Will UH parking lots ever grow up?
It seems that the University of Houston is
always competing with the University of Texas.
In the case of parking garages, UT is winning
2-0 and is about to score again. UT will begin construction on its third parking garage in July.
UH students haveddiscussed the possibility of
a parking garage for years. Questions arose in
ing no available land to build on), the only place to go
is up, Kapalko said. The university must construct
garages just to maintain spaces lost to construction of
new buildings, he said.
"It's going to be rough for the year (the new
garage) is under construction," Kapalko said.
Also, garages are not cheap, and both
students' responses to a fall 1994 survey of graduat- Browand and Kapalko said all other options should be
ing students. Comments in the survey like, "The uni- explored and exhausted first,
versity needs to build more parking lots," and, "We UH's first option, should the need for more
need a parking garage," were published last parking spaces arise, would be to construct more sur-
November in The Daily Cougar in an article which dis- face (paved) lots on the outskirts of campus, Browand
cussed the survey results. said.
But is a parking garage necessary at UH? "A surface lot would be the quickest and
"We probably don't need additional parking cheapest (solution)," Browand said. "Parking garages
(right now)," said Robert Browand, director of Parking are not always the answer."
and Transportation. About 18,000 decals were sold to Economically, it's not a good thing for this uni-
students last year for the 11,000 spaces. This reflects versity, Browand added. "We don't want to ask our
a 15 percent decrease in the number of decals sold, students to pay $300 to $400 a year to park in a
he said. garage."
Even though the university sells more decals The only current plans for more parking at UH
than spaces, data suggests the student lots do not coincide with the expansion of Texas Highway 35 to
reach maximum occupancy. In occupancy studies UH Entrance 1. At that time, the department will add
conducted by Parking and Transportation last year, more spaces to Student Lot 20, Browand said,
student lots were about 86 percent occupied in the fall "We're going to try our best," he said, "to do
and 75 percent occupied in the spring semester, what we can to make parking around here a pleasant
This is a sharp decrease from the last time the
garage option was explored, in 1990. In that year, a
garage feasibility study was conducted because occupancy studies
showed lots near or over 100 percent capacity, Browand said.
Compare this to UT, where
approximately 24,000 decals are
sold for just under 13,000 spaces,
said UT's Manager of Parking and
Traffic Administration David
Kapalko. Each UT parking space
accounts for about 1.85 vehicles.
However, another 1,800 vehicles park in UT's two existing
garages. If these garages did not
exist, the ratio would increase to two
vehicles per space.
At UH, each space accommodates approximately 1.64 vehicles.
Since UT is landlocked (hav-
experience for everybody."
Lisa M. Chmiola
(courtesy of The Daily Cougar, 6/12/96)
y&to "foe araraga (_!<£ W parking,
Space co(\\d\f\s I-64 \teK\des.