While nearly 8,500 people use public transit to get to the U each day, the campus population as a whole is about 43,000, according to Alma Allred, director of Commuter Services. “There’s a certain sector of the campus population that can’t take transit,” Allred said. “It just doesn’t serve their needs. We do have to provide a certain number of parking places.”
More than a year ago, Commuter Services determined that the parking issue was at a critical stage. An architectural firm was hired to identify efficient places to build a parking garage, and about nine months later, came back with recommendations to build two structures: one in the parking lot west of the Sutton Building, and another in the lot in the business loop near the Huntsman Center and Milton Bennion Hall. Several variables go into planning. For example, a parking structure cannot be built over an underground aqueduct or high-pressure waterlines.There are currently 331 parking places total in those two lots. When the garages are finished, about 1,200 parking spaces will be available. Allred says construction will likely begin in mid-July and will take from 12-16 months to complete.