As many students prepare to return to campus this September, the Dal community can expect parking availability and access to remain mostly unchanged.
Parking rates for 2016-17 have been set, with a price increase comparable to recent years. And it’s only on Sexton Campus where there will be notable changes to parking lot allotments — changes balanced by the incorporation of the Rosina lot space off of Queen Street last year.
Here’s a short overview of what’s changing.
There are no changes to the available space on either Carleton Campus or the Agricultural Campus. On Studley Campus, a small number of spaces (fewer than 10) will be lost to allow for more accessible spaces, new waste bins, and the painting of new lines on some lots to increase the size of parking spots.
On Sexton Campus, 40 spots in the Rosina lot (behind the Halifax Central Library) will be converted to short-term “pay and display” parking, with a kiosk for payment available on-site. Demand for short-term parking at Dal has increased in the last few years, and the Rosina spots follow the construction of the 79-spot LeMarchant Place lot — also pay and display — last year.
“More and more people are using alternate forms of transportation to get to campus, and we are finding fewer people park their car and leave it for the day,” says Jeff Lamb, assistant vice-president of Facilities Management at Dalhousie. “Pay and display parking gives visitors flexibility to come and go without making a yearly investment.”
The other change on Sexton Campus is on Morris Street, where two buildings are being demolished to make way for future development. This construction activity means 68 spots will be removed sometime this fall — a loss offset, however, by the Rosina lot, which last year added 200 more spaces in total to Sexton Campus.
Long term, the Rosina site is targeted for future campus development. In the short term, this lot is making a significant impact on the availability of on-campus parking. This fall, 160 of its spots will be available for use by general parking permit holders from all campuses, while the remaining 40 will be the aforementioned pay and display spots.
“One of the challenges in campus development is space as Dalhousie has finite land available,” says Lamb. “Our core spaces need to be focused on academic mission, and future construction on Sexton will bring much needed renewal to the campus that needs it most.”
Permits go on sale August 29, 2016. The rate increases this year vary by permit type, and range between 6.75 per cent (for general permits) and 11.34 per cent (for select reserved spots). Pricing is set by Dalhousie’s Transportation and Security Committee and approved by Senior Administration.
The increases, set in accordance with the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) Collective Agreement, are a result of higher annual operating costs due to a number of factors, including snow removal, salaries of those who patrol and maintain the parking areas, utilities and yearly upkeep. Rates do not go up yearly in proportion to increased maintenance costs, but are averaged over a three-year period. Snow removal in 2015 cost much more than snow removal in 2016, but this year’s rate increase is still helping to pay for the higher costs in the previous year.
Visit the Parking website for full details.
Many alternatives available
The Department of Facilities Management works closely with the Office of Sustainability to offer as many options as possible to the more than 20,000 people who come to our campuses daily.
“We use on-campus research such as commuter surveys and parking lot studies to improve transportation demand management (TDM) programs for campus commuters,” says Rochelle Owen, Director of the Office of Sustainability. “Key strategies such as transit passes, ride share, car share, cycling education and infrastructure have been implemented and are being enhanced. Future ideas are highlighted in the TDM action plan on our site.”
For more on parking at Dalhousie and for all the information on cost and purchasing of parking permits visit dal.ca/parking. For information on additional transportation supports on campus (including the RideShare program), visit the Dalhousie SMART Trip site.
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