James M. Cirillo, Director of Parking Services, acknowledged that two of the most sensitive issues on college campuses are food services and parking. Thanks to the scheduled Tyler relocation, new housing policies and construction of additional apartments, Temple commuters have a lot more to digest.
On-campus parking has been in the limelight because an e-mail sent out by the administration urged commuters to utilize on-campus facilities to increase awareness of concerns raised by community members.
But the suggestion may prove bittersweet considering an influx of commuters who will emerge when the Tyler School of Art moves to main campus in 2007.
“Obviously when that [Tyler relocation] comes about, there is going to be a need to accommodate an additional 1,000 students and employees,” Cirillo said. “How many will opt to park? That remains to be seen.”
Cirillo said he expressed concern over the influx of new students.
“We have about 300-400 spaces on Tyler campus right now, which are relatively full,” he said. “Now, with a spike in enrollment with new people coming in and opening new dormitories, we are going to have an additional demand for overnight parking as well.”
The impact of students and faculty from Tyler onto main campus will continue to jeopardize an already difficult parking situation. In lot No. 7, located near Gladfelter Hall, there are 193 spaces available for use.
But 212 debit card parkers and 63 guaranteed access parkers have been assigned to that area. The exhausted space continues throughout the campus, where the university is left with only 500-600 extra spaces during peak operating hours.
“The predominant student-assigned parking area is obviously the Liacouras garage,” Cirillo said. “We have as many as 1,200 guaranteed access student assignments to that facility even though we only have 1,214 spaces, but we allow a number of assignments based on student schedules. We also have over 200 student debit card assignments in the garage on top of that.”
Cirillo noted that a long-range plan discussed in the past would be to build a garage on area four, located on 12th Street between Diamond and Norris streets. This space is adjacent to the proposed location of the new Tyler building. But constructing a garage is no small feat and includes its fair share of ramifications.
“Going down the road, you can factor in that the cost per space would be in the $11,000-$12,000 range to construct a garage,” Cirillo said. “It’s a multimillion-dollar project. If the cost per space were driven up to $12,000, and the Liacouras garage has 1,214 spaces the size of that project a year or two down the road would be close to $15 million to construct that facility.”
If built, Temple would have to consider raising rates in order to pay debt service for a project of that magnitude.
Dr. Theresa Powell, Vice President of Student Affairs, offered the less expensive remedy of public transportation. With four-month subway and regional rail line passes offered at a discounted rate to universities by SEPTA, students are likely to save time and money.
“I think one of the things people rarely consider is using public transportation,” Powell said. “With public transportation being as good as it is into and around the city, I would hope that students who could use public transportation would. I think it’s cheaper, it’s flexible, and it would really help us with the parking problem.”
Brandon Lausch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.