By Markus Smith
Do you ever find yourself taking another impromptu tour of campus as you’re circling the buildings in search of a parking space? Students, faculty, and staff understand the peak periods of the parking cycle. Chances are, if you’re not here before 10:00 a.m., you may be out of luck. So, many choose creative scheduling. Some students arrive early and go to the gym in the Activities and Recreation Center, while others opt for breakfast in the Commons or Food for Thought.
There is relief in sight. “We heard the concerns about not being able to find parking and wanted to relieve some of the pressure, especially at the beginning of the quarters,” says Calvin Johnson, Manager of Commuter Services.
The answer to the high demand for parking? Construction of a new surface lot. The new 45,000 square foot site is slated for a new academic building, but will be utilized as a temporary lot until a more permanent parking solution is found.
Construction crews are working as fast as possible, however our Northwest weather has a say in the completion date. “Due to the inclement weather we’ve been having, the completion of the parking lot has been delayed but will be ready in spring 2016,” says Amy Van Dyke, the Director of Physical Planning and Space Management.
The new lot will have its own pay station with 146 stalls and will include a new walkway leading from the parking area to the center of campus. This lot will provide additional parking at peak demand times, improve pedestrian connectivity from 110th Avenue NE, and help position the campus for future parking improvements.
It’s not uncommon for students to select their classes based on availability of parking. “With more parking spaces, I would be able to take classes in the middle of the day,” says Cody Thorne, a junior who commutes from Snohomish County. “It would be convenient to choose class schedules because more parking will be available.”
More and more students are choosing UW Bothell for its distinctive learning practices, growing degree programs, and student-centered environment. As the campus community grows, commuters are encouraged to consider more sustainable transportation options, including carpooling and the commuter bus system. Currently, more than 10 transit routes from King and Snohomish Counties make over 400 stops on campus each weekday between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. These environmentally friendly choices along with the additional parking might allow everyone to take a tour of this beautiful campus in a more leisurely way.