Transportation and Parking Services Update #3

Published: April 19th, 2019

Category: Featured, News, Uncategorized

April 26, 2019

To:      Faculty, Staff, and Students

From: Dr. Charles E. Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

RE:      Transportation and Parking Services Update #3

The University of Florida has undertaken several key planning initiatives including the Campus Framework Plan, Landscape Master Plan, Housing Master Plan, and Campus Wayfinding Plan.  These initiatives were natural next steps following the completion of the Strategic Development Plan in 2017.

In November of 2017, the university embarked upon its largest and most comprehensive Transportation and Parking Strategic plan ever.  Three main sources were used to gather information and identify campus transportation challenges and opportunities: extensive meetings with diverse stakeholder groups, data collection and analysis, and a campus-wide transportation survey.  In November of 2018, the final report of the Transportation and Parking Strategic Plan was issued, including a comprehensive list of sixty-one recommendations, about which we received your feedback.

First, I would like to thank those of you who took the time to provide constructive input at various stages throughout this extensive process as members of the steering committee, participants in focus group interviews, survey respondents, and in direct correspondence.  No one understands the needs of the university community better than you do.  Your insights are critical in helping to provide context and direction for the development of our transportation network and programs moving forward into the next decade.

Next, I would like to share some of the planned changes and improvements that resulted from this process.  Perhaps the biggest idea is the implementation of an 86-acre Bicycle and Pedestrian Zone in the academic core of campus.  This aligns with a concept presented in the Landscape Master Plan.  In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to remove vehicular and scooter access to portions of Newell Drive and Union Road while making improvements to other campus roadways.  For example, Inner Road will be converted into a two-way roadway and the on-street parking will be relocated.  There is a great deal of enthusiasm for the vision of transitioning the historic campus from an auto-centric atmosphere into a bicycle and pedestrian-focused environment.  This project will transform how our faculty, staff, and students experience the campus core.

The sixty-one study recommendations can be viewed as a menu of opportunities for enhancing all modes of transportation.  The primary influencers in identifying priorities and selecting specific action items to undertake include the university‚Äôs plans for campus development, community feedback, and funding.  As we determine implementation timeframes for these future initiatives, we will adopt a sequential approach defined by a near-term phase (next twelve months), a mid-term phase (one to three years), and a long-term phase (four to ten years).

In the Near-term Phase, a few of the priority issues to be addressed include:

  • launching a new fixed-route Campus Connector shuttle service along Newell Drive;
  • a focus and commitment to maintaining our parking supply (which we will have increased by 11 percent or 2,645 spaces over a thirteen-month period upon the opening of Garage 14 in February of 2020); and
  • the introduction of parking guidance technology in the new garage.

In the Mid-term Phase, some highlight action items include:

  • the implementation of the previously mentioned campus core Bicycle and Pedestrian Zone and related roadway adjustments;
  • the continuing expansion of Campus Connector fixed-route and on-demand transit services; and
  • an accelerated evaluation of the next four sites where future parking structures may be located.

In the Long-term Phase, we will pursue initiatives including:

  • the evaluation of our oldest garages to determine whether to invest in their restoration or demolition and replacement; and
  • implement a unified physical and digital wayfinding program that includes key parking locations.

Please click on the above links to view the complete list of action items for each phase.  As you can see, there are significant improvements and changes ahead.  By participating, you have helped ensure that these changes are proactive and will have a positive impact on our campus.  Please be assured we are developing these plans with great sensitivity to all members of the university community and the impact they may have on each one of us.

As we position ourselves for the future, we remain committed to delivering creative ways to enhance your access to and mobility around the University of Florida campus, so that you may focus on cultivating your unique talents and exceptional abilities at our institution.  I am grateful for your participation in this important strategic planning initiative and appreciate your ongoing support.

Warm regards,

Dr. Charles E. Lane

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