Office of the Vice President

for Administration
 
Professional Advisory Council

Minutes January 11, 2012

The meeting was convened at 2:30 p.m. by Mr. Hendricks.

PAC members present were:

Member District Member District
Paul Pusecker 1 Corinn Harrell  7
Charles Garbini 2 Theresa de Rose for Mike Parisi 8
Anne DeCaire 3 Monty McKee 9
Ilka Riddle 4 Doris Miklitz 11
Gerald Hendricks 5 Miriam Pomilio 13
Glen Loller 6    

Members excused: Laura Slice #10, Suzanne Stanley #12, Nancy Smallwood #14                                                                                                                                      
Others present:  Richard Rind, Tom LaPenta, Jerry Cutler, Hannah Messner, Patty Fogg, Judy Allarey  

Mr. Hendricks introduced Mr. Richard Rind, Director of Parking and Transportation Services.

Mr. Rind provided a very informative discussion regarding campus parking initiatives and procedures, and encourages anyone who has a question for him or his staff to email them at Parking@udel.edu or Bus@udel.edu

Question and Answer

What are the immediate goals for Parking and Transportation Services? According to Mr. Rind, the most immediate goal is to break-even the operation of parking and the bus system that we have, which is also paid from parking. Going forward, the goal is to continue to share the cost – parking is not free and will never be free but the philosophy is that, everybody pays a little so nobody pays a lot.  As far as proximity in parking, it will continue to move south to where the available land is, especially since the central core is being occupied by new buildings. This creates new challenges but we are fortunate enough to have inventory, the University currently has unused parking spaces. We are NOT at capacity. For every permit sold there is a parking spot—although people like to be able to park close to where they work, that is not always possible and one might have to park farther away than they would like.  Parking and Transportation Services are looking at ways to utilize the space on campus that is already available, and that additional changes regarding parking are forthcoming.

Mr. McKee asked if there is a distinction between faculty, students and staff, or is everybody paying the same cost to park? Mr. Rind responded that everybody pays the same amount for parking permits.
Is the Chrysler site going to be used as a big parking lot? Mr. Rind said they do not know of any immediate plans for the site other than overflow parking for football.

A constituent expressed his concern regarding the shortage of spots in the Central lot behind Pearson Hall.  The gated lot adjacent seems to have plenty of unused spaces but the permit lot very seldom has any and usually involves driving around for half an hour or so to find one. This lot is reserved for central employees, however, graduate assistants who are working either part-time or full-time,  are also eligible to purchase a central permit and park here as well, which alleviates many full time employees from finding a spot throughout the day.  Is there way to suggest to parking administration to look into this situation? Mr. Rind stated plans are in place to expand the Central lot by taking 30 or more spaces from the gated lot and making them available to central patrons. This change will happen before the start of the spring semester. Graduate students pay the same rates for parking permits and they are allowed to park, regardless of how long or short they are on campus.

Constituent gave up her central gate pass this year because the cost became prohibitive, and is  now parking in blue lot and riding the UD shuttle.  This is working out well except when the buses are not running.  The week before the holiday break the buses did not run and employees with blue tags were permitted to park in the gold lots only, which are distant from the central offices. Would it be possible for University to reconsider the parking policy when buses are not running and permit employees with gold and blue permits to park in Central lots? Parking Services would love to allow this practice but cannot due to the likelihood that Blue/Gold permit holders would displace Central permit holders during these periods, which is not fair to the Central permit holders.  We do not have enough Central spaces to accommodate the additional parkers.
 
A constituent would like to know more about the status of the plan to make a portion of Academy Street a pedestrian mall and what is the timeline involved in the process? Constituent expects to continue to have access to the Perkins Parking Garage from Courtney Street. Mr. Rind stated that the project is expected to move forward by 2015 and part of the design is to create an entrance and exit to the parking garage along Courtney Street.

DART buses do not currently come down Academy Street which means an employee either needs to walk or catch a second bus (UD, Newark) to get closer to the workplace. Is it possible that DART buses will ever swing down Academy Street to encourage use of public transportation?  Ms. Miklitz shared there is, in fact, a bus stop right outside of Perkins.

Library users and donors who have a handicapped hang tag are no longer allowed to park in designated handicapped parking on the south side of the Morris Library without a UD parking permit. Many of the library users and donors are from the community who are non-UD employees and do not have a UD permit. Where can handicapped people park close to the building when they have a handicapped permit and cannot walk far? Parking Services provided the following options:

Park in metered space and feed meter (no UD or handicapped permit required),
Park in handicapped space displaying handicapped permit and UD Visitors Permit
Park in Service Vehicle space displaying handicapped permit and UD Visitors Permit 
Park in any Pay-to-Park facility (Visitors Lot, Trabant Garage, CFA Garage, Perkins Garage)

The Center for Disabilities Studies has clients and their parents who are complaining they have to pay for parking to meet with their employment specialists. Also, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) case managers now want them to go to their offices for meetings to avoid parking in the University, which means they have to pay for mileage from their budgets. The Center have been trying to work around the parking issue of costs to their clients and contract managers, however, it costs them extra travel time which they do not get paid for, and in mileage costs. According to Mr. Rind,  departments are welcome to cover the cost of their visitor’s parking fees if they choose; it sounds like in this case that paying these parking fees would be much less expensive than paying for costs to travel.

Regarding the blue lot, constituent would like to know if Parking and Transportation Services is keeping the blue lot option available in the future. Mr. Rind said that there is no timeline on discontinuing the blue option.

Following the hurricane in August 2011, Central Lot permit holders were asked to relocate to the Delaware Field House (DFH), so the students could move in during the week. However, the notice to relocate to DFH came late the day before. Some individuals called Public Safety to find out about reimbursement for parking fees for being required to move for two days, and were told that they will not be reimbursed. Buses were also full going back to the lot and some employees had to walk to the DFH from central campus.  Constituent feels there was so much confusion with communication and they felt it would have been nice if they were shown appreciation for their efforts instead of getting angry response from the Public Safety staff.  Mr. Rind responded that this is an emergency situation, and that employees deserve to be recognized for their flexibility.

Parking rates are the same for all salary levels of employees.  Has Parking and Transportation Services ever considered charging employees on a sliding scale based on salary? Mr. LaPenta responded that this issue has been addressed in the past, and the answer is that employees must pay the same rate because undergraduate students pay the same to come to the University.

Constituents who park in the Center for the Arts garage were able to use the entrance off of Orchard Road because gates were open all summer. The gates are now closed and constituents would like to know if it is possible to keep this gate permanently open. According to Transportation and Parking, the gates were open during the summer to accommodate a construction project but were never intended to be kept open permanently as that area is not designed to be a through road. Also, there is a Newark City ordinance that does not allow right turns on Orchard Road from the CFA garage.

Construction workers are parking in Lot #27 at the back of Penny Hall and Delaware Geological Survey (DGS).  This is a small lot and it is now practically impossible to find a parking space with all the construction workers that come in early. Is there something that can be done about this?   According to Mr. Rind, a limited number of construction contractors are allowed to purchase Central permits and park in Central lots; they pay the same amount as UD staff for these permits.

There is a lot of construction activities going on around the area close to Pearson Hall, and constituent often sees construction workers parking in the grass without UD permits. Mr. Rind stated that contractors do not park for free. They park within fenced construction projects and as far as the cost of the project, contractors paid for the entire lot for the duration of the project.

Constituent has been biking to work for thirty years and he is on the Newark Bike Advisory Committee. One area of constant complaint among UD bicyclists is insufficient bike parking, having the right bike racks and absence of lighting which is needed both for security and for being able to see to see the lock combination.  The City of Newark is in the process of upgrading bike parking on Main Street. The Newark Bike Committee is actively involved in this. Perhaps Mr. Rind, who is also a member of the committee as representative for UD, could coordinate with the city and purchase the same style of bike rack for the highest profile bike parking locations at UD? Mr. Rind stated that we are becoming more bike friendly, and one of the suggestions made is to allow bikes in the building if there is room for it. Mr. Garbini noted that bikes are inappropriate in laboratories or in stair wells.

Constituent works in the Trabant University Center and has a gold parking pass for the Trabant Parking Garage. However, sometimes it is necessary for employee to park in other lots around campus.  Although constituent has a gold pass, he will be issued a ticket if he parks in any lot other than the Trabant Garage. Mr. Rind said this is not true. Employees who have Trabant parking passes are eligible to park in certain lots other than the parking garage.

A constituent has concern that the new parking signage is still incredibly unclear and confusing and makes it harder for faculty and staff to park around campus. Mr. Rind stated that the plans are in place to change and improve the signage.
     
Constituent is requesting a bus stop right in front of Laurel Hall. Currently, the bus stops only on-demand and constituent is asking if there can be a permanent bus stop. Mr. Rind said that it is a possibility and that they will review the numbers as to how many people are getting on and off the bus in this location before making any final decision.

The gated library lot has a traffic flow issue.  In the area where we enter and exit by the gate, cars are permitted to park in such a manner that entering and exiting the parking lot is a challenge.  There is a section of cars that is permitted to park in the middle of the lot near Wellspring.  The only way to get to the section of that lot closest to us is to travel through these cars.  The area is too narrow and is barely passable with one car.  Constituent suggests removing the first two spots on each end to allow a larger area for cars to pass through. According to Mr. Rind, employees can also get to the area nearest Wellspring by entering the lot and proceeding south to the end of the row of cars, near the big tree, and then go right and right and avoid the area that constituent is concerned about. With Central spaces at such a premium, the idea of removing two spaces is not a pleasant one.  An option is to stripe the area, the constituent is concerned about as additional Central spaces and force all traffic to the end of the row as described above, which will allow the entrance/exit area to flow better and tight turns would be eliminated.

Constituent is concerned about the reduced parking meter time from twelve to ten minutes for a quarter. Mr. Rind stated that the idea behind changing the meter is to avoid raising faculty, staff and student permits to a higher level.
 
Constituent is concerned if it really is necessary to power wash the Trabant Parking Garage every summer because water is being wasted unnecessarily. According to Mr. Rind, power washing the garage has a lot of benefits and has a direct link to how long the garage will last and it also improves the appearance of the place aesthetically.  The frequency of power washing maybe reduced from every year to every other year because of cost consideration.

Parking has been an issue for Master Gardeners and UD Botanic Garden volunteers, as well as clients that come to drop off samples for the Plant Diagnostic Clinic and for Soil Testing.  It would be extremely helpful to have a spot outside the north end of Townsend Hall for 15 minute drop off. There is space next to the motorcycle parking. Constituent is also very concerned about the crosswalk from Townsend to Fischer Greenhouse.  The "stop" area is very far back. Some drivers do not stop, and constituent fears that someone will be hit by a car.Parking and Transportation Services will change one of these spaces to 15 minute drop off.  They also looked at the intersection and crosswalk and it does have a very awkward layout but there is no obvious solution since they cannot place a sign in the middle of this area, which would be the preferred solution.  Mr. Rind said that they will look into the possibility of moving the stop line closer to the crosswalk although the presence of the striped crosswalk should be enough to get them to use caution in that area.

Constituent has concern about the new parking rules. Constituent is located in 461 Wyoming Road building where County Cooperative extension office is located. Many programs are being offered to general public and there are many volunteers who work offering workshops, maintaining the grounds, and having meetings. The rules requiring individuals to purchase parking passes would add cost to the program budget, and the idea of passing on the cost to the volunteers would deter volunteerism in the program. Constituent suggest that the parking lot in the building be exempt from the parking charges since all the units in the building are dedicated to outreach efforts and volunteer programs. Mr. Rind stated that he has met with the group and they have devised a departmental carpool system that alleviated the concern of the groups.

Minutes

November 9, 2011 minutes were approved as written.

Constituent Concern

Constituent would like to find out why UD employees are being charged with a Health Fee on their student tuition bills when taking classes at for winter and other special sessions. Constituent feels she is being billed twice for health care as an employee when she also has to pay for it as a student. According to Melissa Stone, Director, Student Financial Services, as a part-time student, employee is eligible to have the Winter Health fee removed.

Faculty Senate Report

There was discussion about UD’s revenue challenges and how the University is reacting to such things as the Penn State scandal and other issues. Provost Apple indicated that the group comprised of himself, the President, Executive VP, Deputy Provost, Vice Provost and VP of Student Life would like a Faculty Senate representative to participate with them in discussing such affairs.

Provost Apple and Senator Tom Ilvento discussed RBB. Both indicated that RBB could have been implemented differently. This may have accounted for confusion and poor execution of the policy. The RBB algorithms can be found at the Budget Office web site (http://www.udel.edu/Budget/rbbguidelines.html) There will be a Faculty Senate Open Hearing with President Harker on February 13, 2012, 3-5pm, 130 Smith Hall.

A resolution to increase the number of faculty senators from 50 to 60 was defeated after much debate and discussion.

Meeting Adjourned
3:40 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Judy Allarey

Reviewed by:
Gerald Hendricks
Paul Pusecker