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When attending a university that’s located in the heart of a bustling city, parking is going to be a consistent hassle. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one such campus. But things are soon to change. To enhance the experience of students, employees and guests, UAB connected with Kimley Horn, a premier planning and design engineering consultant.
Horn conducted a comprehensive parking and transportation study that will guide planning, management and policy for short- and long-term improvements to UAB.
The study took into account many factors: parking volume and forecasted demand, traffic patterns and transit routes, technology, class schedules, City of Birmingham infrastructure, direct constituent feedback, and the safety of pedestrians, bikers and drivers.
After receiving a series of recommendations based on the study’s findings, UAB administrators, along with a steering committee of faculty, staff and student representatives, including undergraduate and graduate student body presidents, came together to collaborate and take action.
Pending approval of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, UAB will see the addition of two new parking decks in the next three to five years – one in the Arts District and one in the Graduate Research District.
“Transportation touches thousands of our students, employees, guests and patients every day,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “So it’s no surprise that the discussion and engagement through this process has been so robust.”
Andre Davis, UAB parking and transportation services director, is excited about the improvements to come.
“We are taking many actions to meet the needs of our growing campus,” said Davis. “We have plans to add at least two new parking decks, and update additional infrastructure and policies.”
Until improvements are officially here, Davis encourages students to take advantage of the Blazer Express and express parking lots located around campus. Lots, he goes on to say, that have never once been full.
UAB is also set to see other enhancements – some already approved and some still pending approval from the City of Birmingham and/or Board of Trustees. They include:
- Coordination of on-street parking assets and technology with the City of Birmingham;
- Initiation of a Transportation Demand Management program and a new TDM manager to improve access to alternative modes of transportation;
- Continued enhancement of lot security and lighting;
- Enhancement of The Blazer Express on-campus bus service and roadway crossings for pedestrians;
- Continued investment in new bicycle parking facilities and safe bike routes;
- Continued upgrades to parking management technology including online services;
- Advanced gate equipment and pay stations;
- Establishment of a zone-based parking assignment system to reduce circulation time when searching for a spot; and
- Focused operational improvements specific to patient access in the Healthcare District.
If you’ve ever encountered the struggles of parking on-campus at UAB, click here for a few laughs.