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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pricey parking problems

    Cars overlook Arizona Stadium at the Cherry Avenue Parking Garage yesterday afternoon. The garage is a popular area to park during the football games due to its convenient location by the stadium.
    Cars overlook Arizona Stadium at the Cherry Avenue Parking Garage yesterday afternoon. The garage is a popular area to park during the football games due to its convenient location by the stadium.

    This season’s UA football games are seeing more than a rise in fan interest, as game day parking brings droves of off-campus traffic into UA parking garages.

    During university events, including men’s football and basketball games, parking is often restricted to individuals willing to pay campus parking fees. Garages controlled by Parking and Transportation Services on game days begin charging as early as 7:30 a.m.

    “”On game day, we have reserved areas that we have to start controlling early,”” said Dick Strayer, program coordinator with UA visitor parking and transportation. “”And we do provide alternative parking for the people that we are displacing.””

    Lots and garages utilized on game days are chosen the spring semester prior to their use on terms of proximity and traffic control. Garages that meet these terms are chosen and controlled by PTS, including the Sixth Street Garage, Tyndall Garage and Highland Avenue Garage. The garages not chosen this semester include the Park Avenue Garage and Maingate Garage. Proximity and traffic control are based on health and safety concerns, Strayer said.

    “”Forty percent of parking spots are not controlled during game day,”” he said. “”What we are trying to do is control the proximity parking to the venue,”” Strayer said.

    For this academic year, general parking prices have increased. As a result, game day parking has had to charge an average of $10 per day. Free parking, however, is being offered by PTS to parties of 4 or more, as a means of combating traffic and offering incentives to drivers facing increased prices.

    “”The past few years have been consistent,”” said Bill Davidson, marketing specialist for PTS. “”But this current year, prices went up $24.””

    Economic issues, such as gasoline prices, have forced PTS to increase their fees, he said.

    “”All the money that goes into the parking fund pays for the operation of the CatTran, improving garage and lots, and alternative transportation,”” Davidson said. “”We have a partnership with Sun Tran, for example, so that UA students can buy Sun Tran passes for 50 percent off.””

    Paying for parking is a benefit for students, as the funds for parking and game day parking are cycled back in ways that help students, he added.

    PTS is in conjunction with the UA athletic department for game day parking. The athletic department rents parking spaces from given lots and garages on game days, specifically football and men’s basketball, said Ryan Hansen, assistant director of development for the athletic department.

    Parking and Transportation controls parking and traffic, but on game days, the athletic department is obliged to provide accommodations for the people attracted to specific events, he said.

    Lots, garages and meters are controlled and regulated by PTS and often UAPD. On game days, however, the athletic department is responsible for providing parking spots, and PTS for regulating them.

    “”It is the responsibility of Parking and Transportation, along with UAPD, to provide help with traffic flow,”” Hansen said. “”For the athletic department, we must accommodate all the individuals who want to attend athletic events.””

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