NIU might add parking spaces

By Paul Wagner

A plan to come up with long-term solutions to NIU’s parking problem will be discussed this summer, with the possible addition of up to 1,100 parking spaces sometime in the future.

Campus Parking Committee member Anthony Lorusso said Lot P, west of Stevenson Towers, might be expanded to accommodate 130 additional cars. Lot O, north of Lincoln Hall off of Annie Glidden Road, might be expanded to include 350 more cars, and 400 cars might be added to Lot S, south of Gabel Hall, if funding is available. He said 100 spaces might be added south of Lincoln Terrace if NIU obtains property there.

Lot O might be redeveloped this summer. Lorusso said about $50,000 will be spent for five inches of gravel and lights to be added to the lot. He said he was “hopeful” the project would be completed before students return next fall.

Committee Chairman Dale Barcus said the lot had not been maintained in the past because no one was using it. About 75 to 100 students have begun to use it, he said.

More parking spaces will be added if funding is available. NIU President John LaTourette agreed to re-finance the residence hall bonds if the committee raised permit fees to generate enough funds to pay the interest on the bonds.

Campus Parking Manager Lynn Fraser said she supports raising permit fees to generate revenue for new lots or to pay interest on loans. “From a parking manager’s viewpoint, you want money to be raised by fees,” she said. Most of the money is raised by fines, she said.

Another topic which will be examined is limiting the number of cars on campus. This might result in restrictions on freshmen, sophomores and other students living in DeKalb but not in the residence halls.

Subcommittees will work with members of the Business and Operations staff this summer. Barcus said specific officials who will meet with the subcommittees have not been determined.

Fraser said subcommittees are needed to collect data, such as the number of freshmen and sophomores living in the residence halls. “If only freshmen live in the dorms, the west lots will be empty” unless freshmen are allowed to bring cars, she said.

Other topics to be discussed this summer include peripheral parking with shuttle service to campus, fine and fee structure, a multi-level parking facility, gated lots and the permit system.

Fraser said the fall is the “optimum” time to have a plan for the solution ready so any construction necessary could take place during the summer of 1988.