Student Voice

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May 21, 2024

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More parking becoming available in Q lot

March 1, 2007

The white house in Q Lot, the metered parking lot west of North Hall, will either be moved or demolished this summer to provide more spaces for commuters.

The University has finally purchased the last house left in the lot. Originally, there were seven or eight houses in the lot where commuters now park their vehicles while attending class or other events on the UW-River Falls campus. The University has slowly bought every house in the lot and with the purchase of the white house, another expansion to the lot will occur.

Tom Weiss, director of purchases, bought the house with the intention of creating a better parking situation.

“It will create about 13 more parking spaces,” he said.

To create a single parking space, it costs the University around $4,000, which includes fees for design, paint and construction. If UWRF were to pursue a total redesign of the lot, it could cost more. Weiss said thoughts of building a ramp are also being tossed around. The amount of money spent on a parking space for a ramp is quite a bit more, he said.

“To build a ramp it would cost about $16,000 for a parking space,” Weiss said.

The house was purchased for about $220,000. That money came from the annual parking budget, which Interim Public Safety Director Dick Trende said comes from the money collected from students who purchase permits for other lots. A small portion also comes from the payment of parking tickets on campus.

Trende said the parking budget is about $641,000. The budget is determined by the amount of money collected from the sale of parking permits and is used to fix the lots to make sure they are well taken care of.

Weiss said the house will go up for sale on May 1.

“There will be an opportunity for someone to buy it and move it,” Weiss said. “We cannot do anything to the house until the last tenant is gone though, which is the end of July.”

The house was first made available through realtors to the University. 

“We have been looking at buying the house for a long time,” Weiss said.

The space will provide minor alleviation to the University’s parking problems, and will also give campus planners the opportunity to redesign the lot. Weiss said a redesign could provide an additional 40 to 50 spots in Q Lot.

“With the purchase, we could redesign, giving us more space and we could have a lot on more parking,” Weiss said.

Weiss said the University planning committee is still unsure of what kind of lot it will be, but right now are leaning toward another permit lot.

Katie Crowell, a junior at UWRF, has been driving to campus for almost three years now.

“Any kind of lot would be nice to improve parking, but I think it should be a free lot, if not metered,” Crowell said. “There is just nowhere to park and it stinks.”

Now with the removal or disposal of the house the tenants living there will have to be moved out by at the latest the end of July, Weiss said.

“The last lease is up in the end of July, so even if we wanted to start now, we couldn’t,” Weiss said. “We may not get started on the lot until the end of August, and may not finish until October.”

Along with the purchase of the house, the University was also able to manage a deal to gain more land.

“With this money we were able to purchase the house on Q Lot and we also were able to do a land swap with a private party,” Trende said.

The land swap has been approved for Ramer Field, but is not quite definite yet. There are still more papers that need to be signed to allow the land swap, but it is happening, Trende and Weiss said.

“Along with the land swap Kwik Trip will be moving into the lot there,” Trende said.

Trende said Kwik Trip is moving in because they think it will be a good opportunity for them down by Ramer Field.

Students will also be able to purchase more permits as a result of the expansion of the Ramer Field Lot. Although the parking spaces will not be available for some time, when finished, many more people will be able to park nearer to campus.

Junior Ali Arrigoni said she is excited about the parking being expanded.

“Even though that lot is far away it will still be better,” Arrigoni said. “Maybe more people will park out there and there will be more spots on the street or even in the meters.”

With the advancements in parking, it will make life easier for commuters traveling to campus.

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