On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) sent out a mass email notifying students that construction on the new parking structure, PS1, is expected to start at the end of January and anticipated to be completed by the start of the 2021 spring quarter. TAPS announced that portions of Lot 13 will be closed for construction on Jan. 29, beginning with the full closure of the eastern portion of Lot 13.

The email stated that TAPS has begun relocating as many of the current Lot 13 Blue permit holders to alternate lots as possible. They noted that Lot 13 Blue permit holders who did not have requests to change their assigned parking locations, or whose request cannot be accommodated at this time, will remain assigned to Lot 13. Any remaining Lot 13 Blue permit holders will be allowed to park in the remaining portion of Lot 13, open spaces in the Big Springs Parking Structure across the street and in Lot 21 off of Linden Street.

In the email, TAPS stated that Lot 13 Blue permit holders do not need to wait until Lot 13 is full. They can also park in Lot 13, Lot 21 and Big Springs Parking Structure at any time. “Parking space availability on campus is going to be very tight over the next year during this construction permit as all campus parking resources will be utilized to their capacity,” TAPS stated in the email.

Courtesy of UCR

In an interview with The Highlander, TAPS Director Irma Henderson stated since parking space availability on campus is going to be very tight over the next year during this construction permit as all campus parking resources will be utilized to their capacity, students should, “Plan accordingly and use our Twitter and MyCommute web page to get the most up-to-date information on parking lot and space availability.” She also stated that in order to bring more available parking spaces to students due to Lot 13’s closure, TAPS has been working with the North District contractors and builders to see what land they have that can be used for temporary parking.

“This quarter, we have been overflowing Gold permit holders to a temporary gravel lot across the street from Lot 26. The area has been able to accommodate all the Gold permits,” stated Henderson in regards to how Gold permit holders will be affected by the closure. She added that Blue permit holders will be the most affected by the closure.

In regards to how the parking situation may worsen until it gets better, Henderson stated, “As with any construction project on campus, we are going to be challenged but we are also stepping up our efforts to let the community know about the free resources that are available such as the UPASS program (where you can ride the bus for free) and the free parking at the Hunter-Park Metrolink Station.”

Henderson said that TAPS implemented a new, lower rate permit type, the Orange permit, and are working with the surrounding community to lease vacant parking lots for those permit holders. TAPS is increasing their marketing and communication efforts to inform everyone about alternative commute options and where to find available parking in our current parking lots, stated Henderson.

The whole campus community, staff, faculty, students and visitors will all benefit from the additional space not only in Lot 13 but across all the parking lots, stated Henderson. She said, “It will give us an opportunity to shift some of our Blue/Gold permit holders around, provide us more short term visitor parking, enable us to sell more Gold Plus permits, and provide relief to all permit holders.”