University outlines parking problems but PG6 comes first

Alonso Montano/Staff Writer

The Office of Sustainability said it wants to work to improve the parking situation starting with Parking Garage 5, but Director of Parking and Transportation Lissette Hernandez said the department’s main concern right now is the construction of Parking Garage 6.

The department’s report, that was presented to the Faculty Senate, outlined parking issues with enforcing administrative-only parking, a disregard to stop signs, speeding, carpool spaces, timing of traffic lights, area lighting, use of the tram shuttle, a need for bike lanes and problems produced by roping off parking for special events.

Hernandez dismissed some of these problems, and addressing the others may be on the back burner for now.

But Hernandez did explain that the parking enforcement staff is working to detect any parking violations.

The report pointed to issues enforcing administrative-only parking. Hernandez didn’t note a problem.

“Our enforcement staff goes around campus verifying for staff or administrative parking as well as for students to make sure everyone has a decal,” Hernandez said. “And if anyone parks illegally — either staff or student — they will be given a ticket.”

Another issue outlined is the timing of traffic lights, which some believe is inconvenient.

Hernandez said the lights were set up with the help of professional engineers to ensure student safety.

“We hired engineers and the settings that [the traffic lights] have are based on an engineer’s report,” Hernandez said. “They were added to control traffic and for the students’ safety.”

The report also revealed changes in parking garage lighting. The Blue Garage now has LED lighting and PG6 will too.

Hernandez did, however, acknowledge a lack of bicycle lanes.

She said there are plans to implement bicycle lanes in the future and that the department is currently working with Facilities to enhance certain roads, since some streets cannot allow bicycles in their current conditions.

Another issue is additional transportation between Modesto Maidique and Biscayne Bay campuses.

Hernandez said the Golden Panther Express was added on Tuesdays and Thursdays to accommodate the large number of students commuting to BBC.

The department is also working with Miami-Dade County Transportation to make a bus stop and house express buses at the campus.

An upcoming concern will be the closure of Lot 5 the first week of March due to The Fair opening its gates.

Hernandez discarded any possibilities of making Lot 5 permanent parking for the University.

“That’s not possible because of the contractual agreement we have with the fair right now,” she said. “Parking Lot 5 is actually on fair grounds and the agreement was that we will use it eleven months a year and the fair will use it one month.”

Hernandez said that there are no other construction plans in the works. “At this point of time we are only dealing with PG6,” she confirmed.


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