New $600 parking passes take priority in UAA parking lots

UAA Parking Services has marked new parking spaces across campus that allow Priority Parking Pass holders to park as close to the nearest building as possible.

The new Priority Parking Pass at UAA costs $600 to utilize the priority spots. Photo by Jason Herr.

The permit costs $600 and lasts throughout the academic year. Students and faculty can purchase permits online at uaa.thepermitstore.com or in person at Parking Services, located in the Eugene Short Hall. Students receive a 10% discount, making the cost $550 a year. Permits can also be purchased for one-time use, costing $4.00 an hour on the Passport App.

The cost of the permits was calculated based on several factors, according to Glenna Muncy, the director of UAA Parking Services. Parking Services is self-funded, and parking fees are used to maintain the facility. Parking Services does not receive any funding from the university or the State of Alaska. They projected the costs of implementing the new priority spaces, including factors such as signage, parking poles, additional permits and fair market value parking costs.

In addition to these costs, the price of the Priority Parking Pass was calculated using the following system, according to Muncy:

The price range considered for the pass was based on the cost of an annual UAA parking permit, which breaks down to $29.16 per month. Local parking industry averages were also taken into account, which varies from $1.25 per hour to nearly $200 a month for covered, secured and assigned parking at some locations, such as the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and downtown Anchorage. Parking Services opted for a price in the middle of that range, which equated to $50 per month, or roughly $1.61 per day.

The convenience of Priority Parking lies in spots being closer to many of UAA’s most used buildings. Photo by Jason Herr.

UAA Parking Services has sold 50 Priority Parking Passes as of Sept. 5. About 10% of those passes have been to sold students, according to Muncy. She said that students have also requested a tiered parking system, which allows certain spaces to have closer proximity to building entrances to better suit their needs.

Muncy also stated that no ADA spots, or accessible parking spaces required by the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, have been taken away by Priority Parking spaces, as they are highly regulated by the federal government.

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“We have recently completed a full-campus parking stripe project that repainted all stall lines, fire lanes, ADA markings, parking stops, arrows and road lines to ensure they are bright and visible for returning students. During that process, some ADA spaces were repainted to add van accessibility corridors, but no spaces were eliminated or lost to this permit type,” Muncy said.

The sign for Priority Parking itself features a ram surrounded by blue and white coloring. Muncy explains that the new signage is full of Alaskan symbolism and is tied to UAA.

“Much like our permits that feature local UAA amateur photographs, the artwork for the permit and signage was created and donated by a UAA art alumna and includes an Alaskan symbol of strength, resilience and reaching new heights. The color was custom selected to reflect back both the long hours of sun in summer and the white of the winter snow,” Muncy said.

The new permits are still available for purchase at UAA Parking Services online or in person at the Eugene Short Hall. As it is a new permit, changes and improvements may be made in the future, according to Muncy.

“Any changes made would take into consideration the feedback received from permit holders, Parking Services’ observations, the manageability/enforceability of the requested change and how the change would impact other parking on campus. As with any new program, there will be an adjustment period,” Muncy said.

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