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Transportation Asset Management · PDF file The management of university parking and...

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  • PPaarrkkiinngg aanndd TTrraannssppoorrttaattiioonn

    AAsssseett MMaannaaggeemmeenntt

    SSttrraatteeggyy

    November 2006

  • The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy – University of Akron Page 2

    Table of Contents

    Table Of Contents ......................................................................................................... 2

    Letter Of Introduction ................................................................................................... 3

    Executive Summary ...................................................................................................... 5

    Introduction ................................................................................................................. 21

    Parking Assets ............................................................................................................ 25

    Campus Development................................................................................................. 36

    Transportation Assets ................................................................................................ 40

    Traffic Overview .......................................................................................................... 43

    Stakeholder Input ........................................................................................................ 46

    Budget And Service Delivery ..................................................................................... 62

    Benchmarking ............................................................................................................. 68

    Observations/Comments............................................................................................ 77

    Recommendations .................................................................................................... 103

    Appendix A – University Park Alliance.................................................................... 129

    Appendix B- Letter To City Regarding Traffic Issues ............................................ 133

    Appendix C- Stakeholder Comments/Suggestions................................................ 136

    Appendix D- Special Parking Request Form .......................................................... 158

    Appendix E- Maintenance List ................................................................................. 159

  • Letter of Introduction November 17, 2006 Mr. F. John Case, Ed. D. Vice President for Finance & Administration/CFO The University of Akron Buchtel Hall Room 222 Akron, OH 44325-4715 Dear Dr. Case: The primary mission of any university is to educate students. It is no different at the University of Akron. According to President Proenza, “Our number one priority is student success. Enabling student success will continue to be the hallmark of The University of Akron.” Enabling student success requires more than classroom instructions. A modern campus must also provide amenities that complement education. Those amenities include housing, food services, athletics, as well as parking and transportation. The management of university parking and transportation services must balance the resources of the university, market conditions, the safety of all members of the campus community, and the convenience of the users. As with any aspect of university life, having a strategy to address the parking and transportation requirements in a safe, efficient, and cost-efficient manner allows the university to concentrate on its primary mission. Over the past several months, The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. (CEG), in partnership with The Integrity Group (TIG), has worked with The University of Akron to develop a viable Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy. The strategy not only provides recommendations for short-term enhancements to the existing parking/transportation infrastructure, it also provides a long-term approach for guiding the University over the next decade.

  • The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy – University of Akron Page 4 We acknowledge, not only the assistance provided by the employees of the Parking Services Department, but also the representatives of the University of Akron; the Associated Student Government; the City of Akron Traffic Engineering Division; the Metro Regional Transit Authority; and the hundreds of individuals who completed the parking survey, attended one of the open forums, or offered input during the study process. On behalf of the entire staff of CEG and TIG, we are delighted to have been a partner with the University of Akron in the development of this Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy. Should you have any questions regarding the recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact us. Sincerely, THE CONSULTING ENGINEERS GROUP, INC. Charles J. Cullen, CPFM, CAPP Director of Parking Consulting Services

  • The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy – University of Akron Page 5

    Executive Summary When asked to comment upon the parking and transportation services on campus, one respondent wrote: “Parking is absolutely horrible this year on campus.” On the same day, another respondent wrote “It's really good, overall!” To the student who arrives at 11:30 AM to park in Lot 27 (Hill Street and Buchtel), the first quote is certainly applicable. To the food service employee who arrives at 7:00 AM each morning to park in the North Deck, the second quote reflects his/her opinion of the parking/transportation services. Both quotes reflect the wide range of viewpoints concerning the delivery of parking and transportation services. Both quotes have validity. The food service worker has encountered few changes over the past several years because he/she arrives when parking is readily available near his/her place of work. The student, however, has witnessed the effects of an increasing parking demand and a decreasing parking supply. The lot that provided the student convenient parking for the past two years is now filled by the time he/she arrives this year. Next year, the student will likely encounter even more difficulty. The creation of a “landscape for learning” has certainly enhanced the physical assets of the University. The main campus is pedestrian-oriented with more open space and new buildings that reflect both pleasing aesthetics and state-of-the-art functionality. The transformation of the campus landscape, however, has forced the Parking Services Department to construct large parking decks to replace surface parking that is no longer available. Partly due to underfunded maintenance programs, major repairs and renovations were also necessary at existing facilities. The result is an annual debt obligation that currently constitutes 60% of the Department’s entire budget. With millions of dollars of debt, an increasing parking demand, no reserve fund, an inadequate number of reserved spaces, and the loss of 847 spaces within the next twelve months, the Parking Services Department faces an immediate challenge of providing 1,200 parking spaces and/or decreasing demand by that amount within a very short period of time. In the future, 90 new spaces will likely be needed annually. The Parking Services Department is also responsible for campus transportation operations. Currently, that service provides only one shuttle route known as the Polsky Express. On a campus with classes scheduled up to 80 hours per week, this shuttle service operates only 30 hours per week. Even when it does operate, it is underutilized by the campus community. A viable transportation program can do more than just transport students. It can reduce parking demand, enhance safety initiatives, and link the University with the surrounding community. As UA expands its borders, the need for an enhanced transportation system will increase. The current funding method for shuttle operations will not be able to totally finance the transportation challenges in the future.

  • The Consulting Engineers Group, Inc. Parking and Transportation Asset Management Strategy – University of Akron Page 6 The challenges facing the Parking Services Department are more than funding. Money will purchase buses but it will not motivate students to ride them. Money will build new parking spaces but if the spaces are perceived to be too distant, they will only be used as a last resort. Parking and transportation customers must perceive a value for the services purchased. All members of the campus community must be more aware of parking and transportation options and encouraged to use them. Some of the problems associated with parking and transportation functions are not the direct responsibility of the Parking Services Department or even the University. Traffic control and the placement of on-street parking near UA fall under the jurisdiction of the City of Akron. The Metro Regional Transit Authority provides the buses and drivers for the current shuttle program. These entities are intertwined with the parking and transportation programs of the University and it is important to nurture the mutual symbiotic relationships that exist between them. The steps we have outlined in this document represent months of observation and analysis along with years of experience

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