Firm completes parking survey

By Caryn Rosenberg

Walker Parking Consultants has completed its survey of NIU parking lots and has found a deficit of 1,050 spaces, but the solution to the problem is not yet in sight.

Walker Project Analyst Ron Lange said in order to do the study, the campus was broken into four areas. Space deficits were found in the south and east areas, with surpluses in the north and west.

In addition, the study indicated that the main parking crunch is in the central campus area.

Lange said the results of the study are not unusual.

“The study takes into account not just normal days, but includes seminars, conferences or other events held on a different day,” he said. “Pretty much every university we’ve studied has a parking problem.”

Although the study took NIU’s current parking situation into account, Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president of Finance and Planning, said planned construction projects at the university could make the space deficit larger.

“When we build Faraday II, an additional 93 spaces will be eliminated,” Perkins said. “And the Campus Life Building will probably be built where there is existing parking and that will eliminate about 200 more spaces. There will be about 300 spaces by 1994 to add to our deficit.”

Perkins said by the year 2002, NIU might face the elimination of another 200 spaces, but at this time, the parking consultants are focusing on short-term solutions.

“Their recommendation is to address the near-term (1993 and 1994) as soon as possible,” she said.

Perkins said the project is proceeding on schedule and now that the first phase is finished, she hopes the second phase will be complete by the end of April.

“I would hope by the end of the month, (Walker) would have some recommendations of what needs to be done and when we need to do it,” she said. “This could involve restriping, new surface lots, the construction of a new structure or structures or a combination of that group.”

She said when phase two is completed, the project will proceed to phase three, and Walker will make its financing recommendations.