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Parking Dept. strives to expand lots

November 18, 2010

As the population of UW-River Falls continues to grow, there are many areas that require expansion including parking, and parking is no exception.

The Parking Department is looking to the future in order to expand its metered lots and parking areas for students. With expansion comes a lot of commitment and money, said Chief of University Police and Parking, Richard Trende.

“We’ve been asking ourselves what [projects] we can afford and how we are going to pay for that,” he said.

Since the master plan has been recently discussed, the Parking Department is acting seriously about the subject of expansion on campus, and Trende said that it is no easy task to weigh all of the options.

“There has been a lot discussed in the department on expansion, and we are trying to defray the costs now by identifying what these projects are going to be and the expenses,” Trende said.

Operations Program Associate Wendy Penny mentioned past projects such as the parking spots by Ramer Field, which were successful but not cheap.

“The land slot itself was $500,000, and then it cost us $68,000 to construct that temporary lot,” Penny said.

Money for future projects has been kept in a separate fund.The money that is put into this fund will not be used for anything else.

Some of the ways that the Parking Department pays for these projects include the meters on campus, citations and permits; however the Parking Department also uses this money to pay for maintenance, repairs and parking employee wages.

Most of the Department’s funds come from the permits issued out every year for students to park in the lots.

About 10,000 parking citations are issued per year. Penny said that many tickets are from students misinterpreting times of parking and what sections that they are able to park in during the day.

“Students shouldn’t be confused about parking since we have all the information here at the parking office, and all the times are listed right on the back of our business cards.”

Although the citations may be high in numbers, Trende said that the number of appeals for these citations have been low in the past few years.

“Even two years ago we would have parking appeal hearings, and there would be a substantial list to go through,” Trende said. “Now, it is considerably less, which is good.”

Trende said he hopes that in the future, the number of appeals and citations will be reduced to zero with more awareness to bigger signs and clearer regulations on campus.

For more information about the Parking Department and what they provide, visit their office in 27 South Hall or online at www.uwrf.edu/parking.