Parking needs have not gone unnoticed at UWP

April 30, 2003

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Left to right: Gregg Hamm, Jason Laue, Traci Satterfield & Chris Nies

PLATTEVILLE - Recent complaints regarding inadequate parking on campus at UW-Platteville has motivated one senior design team to investigate further by conducting parking inventory and usage analysis.

This senior design team consists of four civil engineering students each graduating this May. They include Chris Nies, a fifth-year senior from Patch Grove with an emphasis in transportation and construction engineering; Jason Laue, a fifth-year senior from Juneau with an emphasis in transportation and construction engineering; Gregg Hamm, a sixth-year senior from Rudolph with an emphasis in transportation and construction engineering; and Traci Satterfield, a transfer student from Dixon, Ill., with an emphasis in transportation engineering.

The team has been working with the UWP Campus Planning Commission to research the parking issues at UWP and determine if improvements should be made. So far the team has conducted numerous parking surveys on- and off-campus. The on-campus research has focused on the number of parking permits sold in comparison with the number of parking spots available. They have also contacted other schools in the UW System of comparable size to gather information regarding how each school handles its parking situations.

The next step for the team will involve completing the collection of parking data and analyzing what is found. The team will be looking at the turnover rates for each lot and how efficient the lots are currently being used. Each parking lot is labeled for use by either faculty, commuter students, resident hall students or visitors. The team will decide if each parking lot is adequately labeled and being facilitated in the best way based on their research and studies. Following its conclusion, the team will make a recommendation to the UWP Campus Planning Commission.

While completing the project, the team has run into numerous challenges. Gathering detailed data and conducting studies is both time consuming and tedious. The team has also had to work with a long semester of inclement weather. Snow cover makes parking lines hard to see, while cold weather makes data gathering a long, slow process. Despite numerous challenges, though, the team has found those people whom they have been in direct contact with throughout the project to be extremely helpful and willing to share their time.

The team members feel their classes have prepared them well for this project. Being able to use AutoCAD and having past experience gathering data and conducting research has been key to the team's success with the project. The project has also provided opportunities to learn new things and improve on past abilities. The team members feel their communication and organization skills have grown immensely. Scheduling times and keeping in contact with one another have provided a hands-on approach to learning about transportation. UWP professors Sam Owusu and Tom Nelson have also helped the team throughout the course of the project.

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