Parking changes for Mines

Parking at the Colorado School of Mines has seemingly always been a big issue. Many rumors have been spreading about more parking lots going “offline,” increases in parking fees, changes to freshmen parking, and the ever popular question of a parking structure.

Parking permits available to freshmen will be capped starting next year. While not finalized, it is currently expected that the cap will allow up to 200 freshmen students to receive parking permits. These will at first be given out on a need basis and then extra permits will go through a lottery process. Further, the students that live on campus will be required to park in the very back of the commuter lots, such as the Q and Ford lots. This requirement prevents having cars that rarely leave their parking spot from taking away close parking from commuting students. This is expected to relieve roughly 250 parking spaces in commuter lots.

Mines Park residents starting next year will also no longer have the option to purchase parking passes. This comes with the new Call’n’Ride system that will begin in April. This RTD system will pick up students from Mines Park and drop them off in the center of campus in front of Guggenheim, along the bus’ regular route.

The parking permit rate is also expected to increase next year. The parking permit price has not increased for the last three years. As a result, there is a gap in the amount of money Facilities Management needs to properly maintain the lots. It is expected that next year’s parking rates will be $95 for a Mines Park Permit, $100 for a Commuter Permit, $200 for a General Permit, and $325 for Employee Reserved Permits. These rates would be an increase of $20, $45, $75, and $50 from last year, respectively.

There is currently no discussion on creating a Greek Parking Permit. There are currently two fraternities, Kappa Sigma and SAE, who maintain their own parking lots. These fraternities own the land that the parking lots are on and therefore reserve the right to manage their own lots. This allows the fraternities to ticket nonmembers that are parked in their designated spots, however, it also requires the fraternities to pay for all maintenance of the spaces, such as repaving and painting.

West Campus Road, the only street owned by the school, will undergo some maintenance, including repainting as soon as this summer. This will include the entire road from Elm Street and 18th Street to the C lot and the parking lots, except for the sections maintained by the fraternities.

Lot B is expected to go “offline” in mid-April to make way for the construction of a new residence hall and cafeteria. The loss of B lot is expected to lose roughly 115 spots. Additionally, the north half of the E lot will be closed for the construction of a Welcome Center. Ultimately this is expected to lose about 200 general spots. The construction of these buildings is expected to be completed by Summer 2014.

As a result of the loss of the general lots, lot J, currently a commuter lot located by the CTLM, will become a general lot, which will relocate roughly 120 parking spots to general parking passes. The commuter spots will be made up through the addition of 100 spots behind the Ford lot and by paving the Jones Road parking area for another 100 or so spots. The increased number of students parking on the south side of 19th street may prompt the City of Golden to install a crosswalk or street lights at the intersection of 19th and Elm Street.

Admissions are expected to grow between 2.2 and 4.2% annually. As a result, it is expected that by 2016, construction of a parking structure will become necessary to ensure enough parking for the students and faculty. Currently there is no money set aside for a parking building and no plans for its construction. The increasing cost of permits will initiate a savings for the parking structure. The building would also almost certainly be built on the outskirts of campus in a location such as Q lot or Ford lot.

Despite the loss of some parking lots in the next year, the total amount of parking spots on campus is expected to increase over the next two years. Additionally, fewer permits are expected to be sold by limiting the number of passes available to freshmen and restricting Mines Park. Overall, there will be much more available parking on campus, just located in less desirable places.

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