by Jenn VanRiper
The long trek from the university parking lots to the nearest building is unavoidable. But one of those walks will soon be easier for students using Lot 3.
On Jan. 11th the south road of Lot 3 was converted to a temporary sidewalk for pedestrians.
Facilities Management took out parking curbs and put up signs, fences and barricades last weekend.
Gwen Evans, manager of parking services, said people walk in the driving lane because of the snow. She hopes the new sidewalk will eliminate that.
Aislinn McDougall, who walks through Lot 3 to get to classes at First Nations University of Canada, feels safer with the new sidewalk.
“I think a lot of times when people are walking over there, they’re trying to cross over and cars are just not really looking because they’re so focused on trying to get a spot,” she said.
But drivers may be less happy with the changes.
The south entrances are now closed to cars and eight M-stalls were removed to allow cars to circulate. Jessica Kominick has a pass for Lot 3. She said the sidewalk is inconvenient for driving. “I come a different way so it takes a little longer. It’s harder to get around in the parking lot, I find.”
Construction of a permanent sidewalk is scheduled for summer 2010. Evans said the sidewalk is a university cost and doesn’t take away from other projects in parking services budget.
Other projects include converting more Lot 3 stalls to electrical, some of which will be set aside for students living in residence. As well a bike rental on a weekly or monthly basis will be available by April next year.
Part of parking services’ mandate is to encourage students to use greener modes of transportation. Parking upgrades might seem like it will have the opposite effect.
“Some people will bike in the summer or walk but when it comes to October or November they’re going to drive,” said Evans. With better parking available in the winter, hopefully less people will park in the residential area.
The City of Regina works with parking services to improve awareness about other modes of transportation. Evans said it’s important to get the Student’s Union more active in promoting student awareness.
“I think there’s a mindset that needs to be changed as well as a change in services,” said Evans.
Evans said people need to be educated on how much it costs to bring a vehicle to campus, including the environmental and health costs.