February 18, 2013

This parking update is being issued to provide information about actions being taken to address parking capacity on campus.

Saint Mary’s College currently has two active parking plans that were developed with assistance from Walker Parking Consultants. Both plans are on file with the Town of Moraga as a condition of approval for the Athletics Corridor Project located at the front of the campus.

The first plan is a parking management plan for the College. The second plan is a special event traffic and parking plan. Both documents can also be found at http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/vice-president-for-finance/messages.

The special event traffic and parking plan memorializes existing procedures to park cars and direct traffic during major events on campus. Examples of major events include commencements, men’s basketball games and college fairs.

The parking management plan is designed to address the College’s current and future parking challenges. The plan indicates that the College has approximately 2,100 parking spaces with an additional 130 spaces at the Rheem Campus. The plan also details current parking policies and challenges.

The major parking challenge facing the College today is that parking lots on campus are at 90% capacity during the week at peak mid-day hours, with most non-residential lots at 100% capacity and most residential parking lots at less than 90% capacity. This level and distribution of parking capacity is inefficient in that it causes drivers to expend too much time hunting for open parking stalls.

The parking management plan commits the College to improving this situation through the expansion of parking and the consideration and implementation of several parking management strategies to promote the efficient use of existing parking. It also commits the College to consider and implement various transportation demand management strategies that promote alternatives to bringing single occupancy vehicles to campus. The parking management strategies and the transportation demand management strategies being considered are outlined in the parking management plan. 

One of the primary parking management strategies is the enforcement of existing parking policies and regulations. Recent correspondence from the Department of Public Safety represents a first step in this enforcement effort with residential, commuter and faculty/staff permit holders.

Consideration of the various transportation demand management strategies in the parking management plan is currently underway with input from the College’s Campus Facilities Management Committee (CFPC). The CFPC is comprised of faculty, staff and student representatives. A list of current CFPC members can be found at stmarys-ca.edu/vice-president-for-finance/messages.

It should be noted that the College’s parking consultants have recommended, and the CFPC has confirmed, that transportation demand management strategies will not be effective without the imposition of a parking fee system on campus. In addition, a parking fee will be necessary to fund the construction of a proposed parking deck over the large De La Salle Drive commuter parking lot located at the front of the campus. This parking deck will be needed to replace parking lost on campus when the new Library and Learning Commons (to be located on the parking areas adjacent to Garaventa Hall) is constructed (groundbreaking tentatively targeted for June 2016) and to expand parking in order to drop below the 90% capacity threshold.

The imposition of a parking fee system will likely coincide with the construction of the proposed parking deck. This parking deck needs to be in place and operational when construction is planned to start on the new Library and Learning Commons in June 2016.

Needless to say, much more deliberation and consultation will occur over the next two years as implementation details of parking management and transportation demand management strategies are developed and vetted with appropriate committees on campus. In the interim, you can direct your questions or comments to Pete Michell at pmichell@stmarys-ca.edu or to Adan Tejada at at11@stmarys-ca.edu.

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Saint Mary's College of California
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Moraga, CA 94575
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