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New Committee Looks at Campus Parking Issues

January 26, 2005

A new advisory committee to examine parking issues on the Evanston campus has been formed and will begin its work this week, said Eugene S. Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance.

Sunshine, who will chair the committee, said the group will look at the current parking situation and consider alternative approaches to dealing with parking availability.

The committee’s formation stems in part from the study done last year by the Advisory Committee on University Space Planning, which recommended that the issue of parking on the Evanston campus be resolved. That committee also recommended that, to the greatest extent possible, the Evanston campus be made more “pedestrian-friendly.”

Balancing the desire to make the campus as hospitable to pedestrians as possible with the objective of convenient parking will be a challenge, Sunshine said.

“Parking is one of those issues that people get really passionate about,” he noted. “And to an extent, it’s like building freeways -- if you do it so there is plenty of capacity at the busiest times, there will be a lot of other times when you have empty concrete that costs a lot to maintain. We also don’t have much available land.”

Sunshine said the new committee initially will focus on parking issues on the north end and central part of the Evanston campus. Long-term plans for the southern end of the Evanston campus (see related story in this issue) envision the replacement of the existing two-level parking deck with a larger structure in that area.

There are currently approximately 3,600 parking spaces on the main portion of the Evanston campus. In addition, there are 1,400 spaces at Ryan Field, with shuttle bus service offered between there and the central campus, and additional parking at Engelhart Hall at Foster Street and Maple Avenue and the ITEC lot, located behind the Hilton Garden Inn. Periodic parking studies conducted in the past two years have shown that the lots in the central part of campus fill up during the day, but that the Ryan Field, Engelhart and ITEC lots generally do not reach capacity even during the busiest times. The garage at the south end of campus and the lot just east of Kemper Hall also generally do not fill up, the studies showed.

The construction of new buildings in the north campus area has resulted in a small increase in demand for parking and has also reduced available parking spaces, Sunshine noted.  As a result, the advisory committee will be asked to make recommendations on how to meet parking demand in the future as well as the current need, he said. 

Members of the new parking planning advisory committee are:

• Scott Arey, assistant director of athletics for facilities
• Michael Besancon, assistant dean for administration, finance and planning, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
• Allan Drebin, professor of accounting and finance, Kellogg School of Management
• Jason Grocholski, administrative secretary, chair of the current parking and traffic committee
• Marvin Lofquist, associate dean for physical environment, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
• Kwame Mensah, graduate student
• Garth Miller, director of housing and food services
• Theresa Parker, assistant dean and director of finance, Kellogg
• Clint Phillips, program assistant, Athletics and Recreation
• Jean Shedd, associate provost for budget, facilities and analysis
• Coco Shiao, undergraduate student
• Merrill Silverman, manager of parking and technical services, University Police
• Eugene Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance
• James Webster, senior associate dean, School of Communication
• Steven Zecker, associate professor, School of Communication

Ex officio members are:

• Bonnie Humphrey, director of facilities management design and construction
• Ron Nayler, associate vice president for facilities management
• Eric Wachtel, assistant director, budget office
• Paul Weller, director of facilities management planning

Topics: University News