The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is rolling out changes this semester aimed at moving most student parking off the main campus and out to Cajun Field.
Much of the parking that was available on campus last school year is not available this year, such as the 300-spot paid lot near the E.K. Long Gym, which now serves as overflow parking for the Wharton Hall parking lot and Hebrard Boulevard.
Commuters now have two choices for parking: Cajun Field and the Girard Park Circle parking garage, where rates have been raised and long-term student parking is now discouraged.
The first two hours at the parking garage will cost a student or visitor $5, and every additional hour is an extra dollar, an increase from last semester, when the bill was $6 for 12 hours.
“The garage is anticipated to be used really for short-term parking for not only the public but for the students as well, and those that are really anticipating to be here all day, they’re trying to encourage them to park at Cajun Field, take the shuttle to campus. That would be the easiest way,” said UL-Lafayette spokesman Chris Welty.
The fourth, fifth and top floors of the parking garage are reserved for drivers who snag the limited number of permits available on a first-come, first-served basis before the semester begins.
The permits are $250 per semester and $100 for the summer.
The Girard Park Circle parking garage has 630 permit-only spots and 530 short-term parking spots.
Those able to snag a permit to park in the garage, and faculty and staff who purchased a permit to park on campus, no longer have to have a hang tag or sticker to prove their permit.
The university now will use a license plate recognition camera to verify that a vehicle is parked in the correct area, a change estimated to save the university $30,000 this year.
The cameras will be equipped on vehicles of the Office of Transportation Services staff who issue parking citations, which increased from $15 to $35.
While many on-campus student workers were given the option to park on campus in previous semesters, they now are encouraged to park at Cajun Field as well, with only “a very limited amount of permits for student workers,” Welty said.
Additional options to travel to the campus from Cajun Field are expected to be unveiled in October. A new bike-sharing program will be launched by the Office of Sustainability, an office formed in 2010 in a grass-roots campaign by students. The program will offer daily bike rentals from three locations on campus, two at Cajun Field and one at the Student Union.