Garage won’t solve existing parking woes

If Butler University builds a parking structure as discussed, it will not solve the parking problem as it currently exists.

The Collegian’s analysis of information provided by Ben Hunter, executive director of public safety, shows that as many as 850 current permit holders would have no place to park if Butler proceeds with plans to build the garage and beautify campus.

At last week’s Student Government Association meeting, President Jim Danko said he hopes to move some cars out of the area near Sunset Avenue and 46th Street and into the hypothetical parking garage or other undetermined spaces, to make way for a plan to beautify campus entryways.

“Something that’s unsightly, frankly, about our campus that makes it look like an urban campus is all the parking that happens along Sunset Avenue,” Danko said.

Butler officials have discussed plans to build a multi-use facility on the lot behind Clowes Memorial Hall that would add about 1,000 parking spaces and hold 300 beds, Hunter said.

The parking garage would add approximately 400 spots, after accounting for spaces filled by residents in the facility and the loss of pre-existing spots in the Clowes lot.

The details of the facility have not been set in stone because it is still in the planning process and must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

Hunter and Danko have each said a new facility would ease a parking problem on Butler’s campus.

BUPD sold 1,184 more parking permits to faculty, faculty-in-residence and students than there were available spots for the 2012-13 school year.

The number of spaces Danko would like to eliminate along Sunset Avenue remains unclear, but if he eliminated every spot on the street after the garage’s construction, the university would have a net gain of about 300 spaces.

Those unfilled spaces would leave about 850 more decaled cars than Butler-permitted parking spaces, if the number of decaled cars were frozen.

If increasing enrollment brings more cars to campus, the number of students without a parking spot would increase.

Hunter said the plan to beautify campus entryways and eliminate some parking is conceptual, unfunded and has only been discussed for the longterm.

Hunter said that any parking eliminated by the plan would be made up in the hypothetical parking structure. The only parking that would be eliminated in the current plans, Hunter said, would be the spots taken from the Clowes lot.

“We won’t have any less parking with the structure,” Hunter said. “It would be plus 600 to 700 spots, but no one knows because we’re still in a planning stage.”

Hunter said that he did not know which permits would be allowed in the new facility and would not speculate what types of parking permits would gain or lose spots on campus if the structure was built.

The Board of Trustees will likely choose a proposal for the parking structure in either December or February, but things could still change after that deadline, Hunter said.

“There could be design changes up until the week before you open the structure, I guess,” Hunter said.

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