Letter To The Editor: The administration's side of the parking debate

Dear Editor: 

Many students are aware that UConn adjusted its parking structure and shuttle bus routes for the fall semester.  

Although it might seem like these changes were made randomly, a number of considerations were factored in, including employment contracts, student safety, vehicle congestion and construction. 

We now realize that the way these changes were communicated to our students could have and should have been better.  However, we are confident that these adjustments have improved parking and transportation services for the student body as a whole. 

We will be meeting with students this week to further discuss the issues, as well as holding few more meetings though this semester with a group of students as mechanisms to improve communication.   

Graduate assistants were allowed to buy staff parking permits for the first time this year as part of their new labor contract with the University. This prompted the need to adjust some areas that were previously used for student parking to be reassigned for other uses. 

However, there was no loss in the number of student parking spaces on campus. 

The perception that there was a decrease in student parking comes from the reassignment of spaces and the restriction of overnight parking in commuter lots, which was done to ensure parking access to students who truly travel to and from campus each day. 

In terms of the new bus routes, we are evaluating ridership counts and bus tracking technologies to improve the experiences of our customers and the accuracy of our data.  

Another element in determining the new bus routes was to minimize traffic in the area of Jim Calhoun Way and Hillside Road, which can be a very congested and dangerous intersection. In addition to having fewer buses in that area, we also encourage all Facilities Operations employees not to drive vehicles in that area. 

Finally, it’s important to understand the long-range traffic planning that has taken place. We have eliminated the left turn from North Eagleville Road onto Glenbrook Road with exceptions for emergency vehicles and service deliveries. In the future, the entrance/exit of the North Garage also needs to be reconfigured along with the intersection of Alumni Drive and Hillside Road to allow for better traffic flow. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions or comments relating to this topic, please feel free to contact us. 

Sincerely, 

Michael Jednak 

Associate Vice President of Facilities Operations