Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Another parking garage by 2012?

UTSA is considering constructing on the East Garage, a $30 million parking garage, in Fall 2011. The garage will be paid for from revenue generated by parking permits, parking tickets and short-term parking.

It will located on Lot 4, near the Main Building.

According to Pam Bacon, associate vice president for administration, the East Garage will provide more desirable parking for everyone on campus, as students would have accessibility to park on Lot 4.

The East Garage is planned to be a four-story structure with 1200 parking spaces for faculty, staff and students—double the size of the North Garage.

UTSA hopes to have the garage completed within one year and have a grand opening by Fall 2012.

This spring, a proposal for new parking rates will go to the Board of Regents. All parking rates will be increased if the proposal passes.

Increases include higher rates for all garages, and the hourly rate for short-term parking will increase 25 cents over the next two years, which means patrons will pay two dollars an hour if they choose short-term parking over permit parking.

If the proposal passes, permit rates will begin increasing in Fall 2010.

A permit for the East Garage in 2012 will cost students $726, the same proposed rate as the South Garage.

The North Garage rate will increase from $300 to $464.

The Parking and Traffic Committee recommended these increases to the Executive Leadership Council at UTSA.

The committee, comprised of 12 members of faculty, students and staff, is responsible for reviewing and making new recommendations concerning parking and transportation at UTSA.

Currently, the plan is to manage the East Garage similar to the South Garage.

“I think the South Garage is a great example of what people like in parking,” Bacon said.

Users will be able to purchase a permit, pay hourly, or use a Fast Pass—a new preloaded card currently used in the South Garage that allows garage parking without the permit.

Users are able to swipe their card for access into the garage, and funds are deducted as the user swipes to exit the garage.

There is a $20 minimum to purchase a Fast Pass, and users can add funds at the South Garage office.

During construction, several hundred parking spaces will be unavailable.

“They’re all faculty and staff with the exception of some of the handicap spaces,” Bacon said.

Currently, Lots 3 and 4 are the closest parking lots to the Main Building, and both are reserved for faculty and staff with limited disabled and motorcycle parking.

Phoebe Amador, a junior communication major, said the garage is a great idea.

“Most of my classes are in the Main Building, so I’m always in a rush trying to find the closest parking spot to get to class on time,” Amador said.

“It will be a convenient garage on the other side of campus”, Bacon said.

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