UW Tacoma parking due for an upgrade

With 4,987 students enrolled at UW Tacoma, and 751 UW Tacoma off-street owned parking stalls — the overflow begs for an update.

Many students are familiar with parking issues while on campus. With the growing student body, it seems as though the parking on campus is due for a change. Having to circle parking lots for a stall which results in running late to class is not an uncommon problem to UW Tacoma students.

Seven UW Tacoma lots are offered at the moment, and six community parking lots are available. Some require parking passes, which can be purchased at the start of each quarter. Hourly parking lots and nearby 90-minute street parking is also an option.

Slowly, but surely, updates are coming to parking on campus.

“The next increase to campus parking inventory will be the Old Spaghetti Factory parking lot with the completion of the Tacoma Paper & Stationery building,” said James Sinding, Auxiliary Services Manager with the UW Tacoma Finance Office.

“We are also considering additional parking inventory through leasing agreements as well as other potential properties up the hill. Longer term expansion will most likely come with the next academic building,” said Sinding.

The university has worked with the City of Tacoma to form partnerships for student and faculty parking in the past.  Parking vendors such as Diamond and Republic work with nearby parking lots at the Convention Center, Museum of Glass and Vision Deuce to allow people going to UW Tacoma to pay to park.

“We’ll continue working with them on the possibility of other nearby options,” said Sinding.

“There is a lot of parking nearby campus that has limits, which should be changed to open parking. That is what I would like to see. I would like to see the city and administration of UW Tacoma come together to provide reasonable parking solutions that take limitations of students into account,” recent graduate of UW Tacoma Laurel Jimenez said.

“My experience with parking at UW Tacoma has been very frustrating — probably the most — and there are not many negative aspects about going to UW Tacoma as a whole.” Jimenez said.

Many students are also familiar with walking up to their car with a ticket on it. Sinding says an estimated average of 10 citations are issued each day between the Cragle and Pinkerton parking lots and the Court 17 garage. The orange envelope which is placed on a car windshield can be easily misplaced. When these tickets go un-paid, they can result in being sent to a collections department. Currently, the only way to pay for a parking ticket online is with the information that is on the physical ticket. This can also cause a hold placed on a student’s MyUW account which in turn can create restrictions such as not being able to register.

At this time, when a student receives a hold on their account they are supposed to receive an email alert. Some students find out about the hold when they initiate registration for an upcoming quarter. Another change that is on the horizon to parking is a new program where students can view tickets online.

“Transportation Services is looking into a software that students will be able to login their account and it will show if any parking are due, it will also be used as a payment tool for citations as well as parking permits,” said Sinding.

Updates can’t come soon enough and will be a huge upgrade to the UW Tacoma campus.

 

To find which parking lot is most convenient to your schedule visit: tacoma.uw.edu/parking

PHOTO BY SOPHIA SONOVICH

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