There is a seeming disconnect between the stated goals of the campus, reduce car use, and the policies of our Parking people. One factor of this is that due to state law, our parking and transportation division is 100% self funded; it gets nothing from the general fund. In order to support any parking or transportation services, the department has to generate funding for 100% of the expenses. Funding through parking fees and fines.
Also, like all campuses our size there is a parking shortage. Parking structures (a.k.a. ramps) cost eye crossing amounts of money to construct and maintain, which is why we don't have one yet. There are some vague plans to build one, but getting the funding for it (see above) is proving quite problematical.
The disconnect I see comes with car-pooling. I car-pool to work with my wife. She doesn't work anywhere near here, so she drives on to her own job. No biggie. Doing this has saved about 40% of the miles we'd incur if we took two cars. Good stuff.
The problem comes with who drives whom to work. Happily, I work mostly off campus, which you can see on this handy map
, look for "32G" in the bottom right corner. This means that there are on-street options for parking that are free, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than the $314/year
rate for parking to park in lot 32G. I can walk that extra 130 meters, thank you. So for me, the question of who is doing the driving and ultimate parking isn't a big deal.
This isn't the case for the old location of our office, in Bond Hall (building 21 on the parking map (bigger copy
)). For someone of my seniority, that's a good half mile (.8km) walk from the parking lot I could get into. Lot 8G behind Old Main requires a seniority of at least 20 years service before you can even hope to get into it.
Parking Services does offer a 'car pool' rate, but it only applies to multiple employees
carpooling. It wouldn't apply to me and my wife. They also offer a 'commuter pack' on a quarterly basis of 10 parking passes, which comes to one a week.
My wife only works four days a week, so I drive in once a week. If I were in Bond Hall, I'd have that commuter pack to get me through and not have any fall-back in case she calls in sick and I have to drive myself. WWU is not designed for part-time carpooling. It's either all (you never park here) or nothing (you always park here). Small wonder they're having a hard time convincing people to 'reduce trips'.
Me? I'm happy where I am. The people who moved with the office to the new site still grumble, quietly, about liking it better on campus. But I don't. It would be quite difficult for me to arrange a carpool with my wife the way I have if I worked on campus. Yes, we'd be a lot closer to everyone we know and e-mail. However, we wouldn't be next to a Haggens (local large grocery store), a RiteAid, and a UPS Store (handy for ARS packages).