Virginia Tech Parking and Transportation has big plans for the future, but what about today?
Around 18 months from now, construction will begin on a new Blacksburg Transit facility, dubbed the Multi-Modal Transit Facility. This facility is designed to ease traffic around the Drillfield loop and persuade Hokies to take alternative forms of transportation to campus.
Even though this facility will hopefully solve many problems associated with parking and transportation around campus, the project will take years to complete. As most Hokies know, the current parking system is almost universally disliked. According to a recent survey, over half of Hokie drivers spend 10-15 minutes looking for a parking spot daily. When so many are constantly in a rush to get to class, how can Parking Services simplify the currently daunting task of finding parking on campus?
What many students don’t know is that there are over 1,500 commuter spots left vacant every day. Drivers would much rather waste time circling close parking lots than park in a less-accessible lot. In the same survey, most drivers spent 5-10 minutes walking from their cars to their destinations. If Parking Services could find a way to get people to move to more remote parking lots, drivers could actually save time by parking in a distant lot and walking a bit farther to campus.
How can this be accomplished? Restructuring the current parking system into having tiered parking lots could be the answer. For instance, Parking Services could sell parking passes for more in-demand lots at a higher price than less in-demand lots.
This would make parking in The Cage cheaper for students, and purchasing a pass for a tiered lot would guarantee a free parking spot at all times. If parking passes are sold for tiered lots, Parking Services should not oversell: the number of parking passes should correlate directly to the number spots in a lot (or exceed it very minimally).
Redistributing where students park will reduce traffic around popular parking lots like the Squires lot and the Perry Street garage. Moving traffic from the garage will be especially helpful during construction of the Multi-Modal Transit Facility, as navigating construction traffic will prove difficult for drivers. This will also breathe life into some of the underused lots such as The Cage and the Litton Reaves lot.
Implementing tiered parking will save drivers lots of undue stress, and it should make everyone's life a little easier both today and during construction of the Multi-Modal Transit Facility.
A full recommendation report on the topic has been written and can be found here.