Northside parking lot

7/29/2010: Stefan Verbano has a piece in the ODE on the new 153 slot parking lot UO will build to replace the space athletics took for the Jock Box. The city has decided to extend the public comment period another week:

The Campus Planning and Real Estate website lists the Urban Farm as a beneficiary to the construction on its website, saying that the construction will allow the farm to add native edible landscape and save apple and other orchard trees. But some of the farm’s volunteers wonder if the benefits will outweigh long-term ecological costs.

Katrina Simonsen, an environmental science major and one of the farm’s volunteers, said the opportunity to plant a native landscape along the lot’s western boundary does not justify the almost two acres of asphalt set to be poured close to where food is grown.  

“It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Simonsen said. “I’ve read foraging books that say you shouldn’t pick food grown next to roads and cars.”

That was true back in the day. I think I read it in Stalking the Wild Asparagus. But it’s not a problem now that we’ve got lead-free gas – another of President Nixon’s great accomplishments. So forage away.

The cost of parking transparency

7/13/2010: DPS Captain Herb Horner has been in charge of parking at UO for years. Back in April, he was interviewed by the Daily Emerald about the big increases in parking fees and fines that would be needed to pay for the underground parking garage that UO had to build – and pay for – to provide parking for Matt Court and the Jock Box. After the latest increase takes effect in fall, total faculty/staff payments for parking will have almost doubled over 3 years. Captain Horner was pretty transparent about why:

Horner said the department conducted two studies on where to place the a new garage … Instead, the University went ahead with plans to build the Knight Arena garage. Because it is underground, Horner said, it will cost three times as much as an above-ground structure would have cost. “If the circumstances had been perfect, we would never have built an underground structure,” Horner said, adding, “Under the circumstances, because of the location, because of the requirement to actually build the arena, this is what we have.”

And today UO posted a job ad for a new Parking and Transportation Director. I’m guessing it’s going to be a while before another UO administrator agrees to another candid interview!

The basic issue here is pretty sad. Phil Knight persuaded Frohnmayer to force students, faculty, and staff to subsidize the parking garage for Matt Court, the $200 million arena that is named after his son.

Knight is worth $8 billion dollars. Why would he do something so petty? Who knows, maybe he was still mad at Frohnmayer over the WRC. I’m pretty sure the secretaries earning $12.48 an hour had nothing to do with that decision though.

Parking, part 4

7/6/2010: Stefan Verbano of the Daily Emerald has a story on a new UO parking lot. Enjoy:

In addition to boosting parking spaces in the area, the new lot will also indirectly benefit the surrounding community by incorporating permeable asphalt paving and a large drainage course called a bioswale to help treat and drain storm water runoff into the Millrace.

A sustainable parking lot! But what will these 153 slots do to promote UO’s diversity mission?

Parking revenues up 34% – before new increase

6/29/2010: Here’s a little more info on parking revenues. My understanding is that this is before the new 33% increase in faculty/staff fees, from $300 to $400, which takes effect in the 2010-2011 FY. I’ve been here for long enough that average nominal faculty compensation has almost doubled. Parking fees for have more than tripled. And it’s worse for the staff.

UO’s parking plan

6/29/2010: UO’s 2010 parking plan is here, a summary is posted here. Some abstracts:

The East Campus Residence Hall project is the most recent project that will affect the parking supply east of campus. It will displace roughly 300 parking spaces in the Bean Hall parking lot (large parking lot south of 15th Avenue between Columbia and Moss). The UO will construct an equal or greater number of replacement spaces to compensate for this loss.

Where will this occur?

The University is planning new parking areas on several sites (see Context Map on last page). After conceptual designs are complete, the UO will adjust the overall plan, then proceed with detailed design and construction. Plans being developed will be in compliance with City parking area standards. Projects currently under construction or planned include:

  • Parking structure on the Arena site: This 375 space parking structure is under construction and will open in January of 2011.
  • Northside Parking Project: A new parking lot on the former Whitaker property at the southwest corner of Riverfront Parkway and Millrace Drive. This property is owned by the City of Eugene and will be developed as a parking lot through lease or purchase by the UO.
  • Moss Street: The UO proposes to purchase Moss Street between 15th and 17th from the City and convert it to a private street with mostly head-in parking. Moss Street will still be maintained as a two-way through street open to the public.
  • Moss Street, north of 15th Avenue: The UO will construct parking spaces along this portion of Moss Street, which the UO already owns.
  • Villard Alley: The UO proposed to install head-in parking along the east side of the north portion of Villard Alley between 15th Ave. and 17th Ave. and pave the alley where it is currently gravel.
  • Walnut Station: Former ODOT property between 15th and Franklin: The UO proposes to convert portions of this property to be used as a parking lot by meeting current City code parking area standards.
  • Former Romania SUV lot (adjacent to the ODOT property): The UO proposes to convert this property to a parking lot by meeting current City code parking area standards.

What’s the net effect on the daily parking supply?

Compared to conditions from 2008, prior to major construction activities, the University’s baseline supply of parking will increase, as shown below:

Fall 2008        3059
Winter 2009    2814
Fall 2009        3067
Fall 2010        3070
Winter 2011   3699

Parking

6/29/2010: A helpful reader sent some actual data on the costs of the underground arena parking and how they will split between the athletic department and the academic side. Not sure if this is current. (Click to enlarge.) 

6/22/2010: The latest increase in faculty/staff parking fees (from $300 to $400, following an increase in student fees from $125 to $300) is starting to get people’s attention. The best info I’ve seen comes from the series by Dave Martinez and Alex Tomchack Scott in the Emerald in April.

My take away is that the “self-supporting” UO Athletic Department has figured out how to get UO students, faculty and staff (at least those who drive to work) to subsidize the Arena construction project. We will pay for the construction of the underground parking that was required by the city as part of the approval for the Arena. Underground parking costs 3 times as much as the above ground structure that would have been constructed without the Arena.

Back of the envelope, we are looking at about $600,000 in subsidy from students and faculty/staff per year. Kelly and what’s his name really need the money. Go Ducks.

Story 1 explains the increases in student fees:

It’s widely believed the University sells more parking passes to students than it has spaces for them on campus. However, the head of parking on campus, DPS Capt. Herb Horner, said that technically stopped being true when the 2009–10 school year began.

That’s because this academic year, DPS more than doubled the cost of a parking pass for students. From $125 a year, the price rose to $300, cutting the number of students who bought passes from DPS drastically.

Horner said there were as many as 4,000 students with passes before the change, but the number dropped to 1,000 afterward

Story 2 explains the reasons for the increases:

DPS had been in the process of fomenting plans for different structures. Horner said the department conducted two studies on where to place the a new garage, with heavy consideration given to what he called Lot 6-Adam, a grass field across 11th Avenue from Dad’s Gate Station. There was talk of the University of Oregon and Northwest Christian University sharing parking there.

Instead, the University went ahead with plans to build the Knight Arena garage. Because it is underground, Horner said, it will cost three times as much as an above-ground structure would have cost.

“If the circumstances had been perfect, we would never have built an underground structure,” Horner said, adding, “Under the circumstances, because of the location, because of the requirement to actually build the arena, this is what we have.”

Story 3 explains the future:

The University attempts to create new parking to compensate for any lost in construction, but many of the spots it uses to replace those lost are farther from the center of campus.

In one plan, for instance, the University will ask the City of Eugene to grant it ownership of Moss Street to turn it into a publicly accessible but University-owned thoroughfare lined with parking spots.

There are also plans for as many as four other parking lots. The eventual target, Horner said, is between 3,700 and 3,800 spots, up from the current 3,070.

And this Editorial does a god job summing up:

In order to complete the parking structure for Matthew Knight Arena, the University tapped into money the Department of Public Safety had collected from all drivers who paid tickets and bought permits for campus parking. In effect, the University is taking from the rest of us to build something few of us will use.

The University made a questionable financial decision receiving the bond to build the parking structure for the arena and then deciding to put that burden of debt on DPS.
Before it was charged with covering the underground arena structure, DPS was considering three new lots around campus that would have added 514 parking spaces. For that project, funding would have come from the money DPS had saved up from parking tickets, passes and meters. It was a logical plan: using money collected from drivers to increase parking for all drivers.

But rather than increasing general parking when enrollment is at an all-time high and the need of parking is widespread, to start repayment on the bond, DPS used the pool of money campus drivers had spent years accumulating to build a structure that fewer people will benefit from. It also comes at three times the cost of an above-ground parking structure.

Now, to pay for the arena structure, DPS is increasing the cost of faculty parking for next year and stepping up its efforts to enforce meters and fine people. Drivers who paid into the fund will not reap the benefits, while current and future drivers will have to pay more for the limited parking that already exists. DPS will gain revenue when arena events require use of the garage. But revenue won’t start accumulating until 2011, and DPS has to start paying for the structure now.

What’s more, more than a third of the 377 spots in the arena parking structure are reserved for users of the Jaqua Academic Center for Student-Athletes.

DPS paying for the arena structure bond in this way is a disservice to those who spent and continue to spend years paying parking fines, buying parking passes and feeding the ever-hungry meters, as little will improve for them. Instead of 514 new parking spaces, the campus community has been relegated to only 242 spaces, which won’t be enough as enrollment continues to increase.

To make matters worse, there are other factors that will decrease parking on campus: Lot 16, near the Knight Library, will be closed after midnight. The parking lot behind the Knight Law Center, which is currently the largest lot available for student use, is the planned spot for a new residence hall. Drivers who get used to parking in the arena structure will have to find other spaces during times when there is an event.

The University had an opportunity to increase the quality of life on campus for everyone while demonstrating sound fiscal management by spending the DPS funding on parking for all students. The money came from campus drivers, and the University should have spent it on something beneficial to all campus drivers, not just a few.

Bring it on Mr. Slusher, you aren’t even close yet.

6/4/2010: Bill Graves of the Oregonian has a new story on the latest sports facility craziness here. This seems to be another “gift that keeps on taking,” like the Jock Box:

But Phit’s gift does not come without costs. The license agreement requires the university to employ a facilities manager, museum curator, museum receptionist, food service administrator and a senior administrative assistant for football operations — all full time for at least six years. The university also would maintain the facilities, which could become costly.

Phil Knight and Howard Slusher are rolling on the floor over the dumb shit they can get UO to agree to for some vague promise of $1 billion, someday. We pay for a football Museum Curator? That is a pretty good one, though I still think taking away the law school profs parking lot tops it. But bring it on Mr. Slusher, you aren’t even close yet.

4/14/2010: Ron Bellamy of the RG reports that Phil Knight is planning on a new building for football team, to be constructed by the legendary Howard Slusher, under the same contracting scheme used for the Jock Box.

“I’ve been told repeatedly since I’ve come here that there are coaches in what used to be closets and that sort of thing,” Lariviere said. “It does look to be pretty jammed up. I’m not sure that this would be absolutely the top priority for the university if we were having to pay for the building, but that’s another matter.”

So far as I can tell, Knight has not given a dime to UO’s academic causes since former President Dave Frohnmayer signed UO up for the the anti-Nike “Worker’s Rights Consortium”. My recollection was that Dave was persuaded by the argument of the students camping outside his office, who told him that the way to improve the lives of the poor is to get everyone to all join together and agree to stop buying what they know how to make. Some sort of complicated economic thing they learned from their sociology professor. I’m sure it made sense after the first few bong hits. But a recent commenter provides an alternative explanation for why Knight is not so happy with the faculty either:

As I remember it, the WRC was a national movement backed by students at the UO, who took the issue to the Senate, which advised Frohnmayer to join the WRC (see http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen990/US9900-10.html). He did so. This was an example of faculty actually being listened to on a matter of school policy.

Here’s hoping Lariviere can convince Knight we’re not such a bad lot. He’s already talking tougher to Slusher than Frohnmayer ever did:

“Parking is obviously part of the requirements for this building,” Lariviere said. “The initial conversations I’ve had with Howard Slusher made it clear that we would have to have at least full replacement, if not more parking spaces, as a result of this.”

Back when Frohnmayer and Melinda Grier “negotiated” with Slusher for parking for the Jock Box, we lost something like 120 parking spots. We just gave them to the athletic side gratis, and paid for new ones by increasing general parking fees. Of course, Frohnmayer did get a $150,000 bonus that year from some anonymous donor.

Here’s the former law school lot. 70 spots, 2 cars with jock hang tags. 2 cars and a motorcycle is the most I’ve seen there all quarter.

Parking 2

4/27/2010: Parking pdate:

The ODE follows up their excellent reporting on parking with an angry editorial:

… What’s more, more than a third of the 377 spots in the arena parking structure are reserved for users of the Jaqua Academic Center for Student-Athletes. DPS paying for the arena structure bond in this way is a disservice to those who spent and continue to spend years paying parking fines, buying parking passes and feeding the ever-hungry meters, as little will improve for them. Instead of 514 new parking spaces, the campus community has been relegated to only 242 spaces, which won’t be enough as enrollment continues to increase.

The only thing missing is the info on who approved the decision to put DPS in debt to help fund the arena. Dave Frohnmayer and OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner.

4/21/2010: Part 2 of Dave Martinez and Alex Tomchak Scott’s Daily Emerald series about parking. Basically, UO students and faculty will be paying about $5 million in higher parking fees and fines to provide convenient underground parking for the athletes at their Jaqua Jock Box, and another $10 million to pay for part dedicated to the arena. But UO athletics is self supporting, right?

Our Uncle drives a tough bargain – or perhaps Frohnmayer just drives a lousy one has his own reserved spot and doesn’t give a shit. Or maybe it was the $150,000 bonus he got from anonymous UO boosters?

If you pay a parking ticket doled out on the University campus, chances are you’ll be helping to pay off debts accrued on the parking structure under construction beneath the Matthew Knight Arena. University officials estimate the 377-spot underground garage will cost about $15 million by the time it is finished, although some have estimated it will cost as much as $18 million. … To repay that bond, the University placed the financial burden on its Department of Public Safety, which administers parking on campus. …

“A lot of people don’t understand why our prices went up as much as they did,” Horner said. “And, well, it’s because we have to balance our budget, and it’s really difficult to do that when you have that kind of financial responsibility.” The price of student parking passes has already been doubled from last year to this year, and Horner said it’s unlikely they will increase again soon. However, the price of faculty parking is set to increase from $300 to $400. ..

DPS had been in the process of fomenting plans for different structures. …
Instead, the University went ahead with plans to build the Knight Arena garage. Because it is underground, Horner said, it will cost three times as much as an above-ground structure would have cost. Of the 377 spots in the new structure, 135 — more than a third — will be reserved for the Jaqua Academic Center for Student-Athletes, meaning they will likely be used exclusively by student-athletes. …

“Dear God, I think I hate it,” said (student) Sen. Demic Tipitino, often a proponent of the University administration, later adding, “I have a problem with me getting a ticket when I’m studying in the library to bail out the athletic department. That’s some shit.

Here is Knight’s contract on this with Frohnmayer:

Parking

4/20/2010: Dave Martinez and Alex Tomchak Scott have an excellent article in the Daily Emerald today about parking. Takeaway is that UO raised the student parking fee from $125 to $300 and the quantity demanded fell from 4000 to 1000. I’m no economist, but I think they call that elastic, meaning that total revenue a) rose or b) fell?

It’s the first in a 3 part series. In the next story they will address how UO will pay for the parking garage we had to build for the new arena. My guess is that the athletic side will not be paying for it. But of course athletics breaks even, right?

Who pays for those athletic scholarships anyway?

2/22/2010: Seems like a good time to remind people that the UO athletics department’s claims of self-sufficiency are pretty thin. Through a very odd deal tied to a failed sports gambling game, the state Lottery Commission pays $1.2 million a year to the UO athletic department for athletic scholarships. They’ve used the subsidy to increase coaches’ salaries.

In addition, the academic side sold athletics the site for the Jaqua building for $1, paid another million in so in costs for it, and, from what we can deduce so far, paid about $5 million for the athlete only parking slots in the Matt Court parking garage now under construction – or more accurately those costs will be spread out over all people buying parking passes.

And, from Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian, earlier this year:

Oregon sports lost $1.2 million the fiscal year before Bellotti took over the athletic director’s job from Pat Kilkenny, according to a report every school files annually with the NCAA, released to The Oregonian this week in response to a public records request. The gap is significant because for the past six years Oregon athletics officials have touted their economic self sufficiency.

 Then of course there’s the tax expenditure cost of the deductibility of donations to athletics. Roughly, every dollar donated costs federal taxpayers $0.40, and state taxpayers $0.10.

9AM Thursday in the Athletes Only Parking Lot

70 spots, 2 cars. Note the special free Jaqua Center hang tags. The full lot in the back is for the (Knight) Law School professors.

OK Mr. Slusher, you’ve proved your point. We get it. You own us.

Let me be the first to say that Nike does not use sweatshops. Phil Knight has created more good jobs in developing countries than Muhammad Yunus and Jeff Sachs combined. (Actually I’m pretty sure that is true – not that I’m an economist.)

So can we please have our parking back? 30 slots and we’ll pass everyone with playing time. 40 for 4.0’s? Please? 

Sincerely, Your UO Faculty.

parking

1/7/2010: I’m not sure of the accuracy of these numbers, comments welcome:

The construction of the Jaqua center took away about 150 parking spots, and shifted about 150 more from general use to athletes only. These will eventually need to be replaced with a parking garage. Current construction costs for garages are about $25,000 per slot. State rules require that parking be fully funded by fees. This means that UO students and faculty will pay about $7.5 million in present value, plus maintenance, as a consequence of the construction of this building – in the form of higher parking fees.

Update: A helpful email pointed me to these numbers which suggest that the annualized cost will be $2000 for each new parking slot or $600,000 per year. The athletic department thanks you for your contribution.

Parking for athletes only

1/1/2010: The rumors were true, Phil Knight was able to take general university parking and convert it to special reserved slots for athletes only. Lot 34F was originally student basketball courts, very popular for pickup games from the nearby dorms. It was converted to parking a few months ago, to replace slots taken by construction of Knight’s new Jacqua Athletes Only Study Center, and was used by professors at the law school. (And before you complain too much, remember Uncle Phil paid for that new law school too.) Obviously Herb is just following orders here, in this case from Dave Frohnmayer. Frohnmayer’s ties to Knight are complicated: Knight’s donations to the UO Foundation paid for some, and perhaps all, of his $349,360 salary supplement last year for example. Say, what are the chances he reported that conflict of interest? Go Ducks.

MEMORANDUM December 30, 2009
TO: University of Oregon Students, Faculty, and Staff
FROM: Captain Herb Horner, Department of Public Safety
RE: Parking Lots

The beginning of the winter term will bring changes to how several of our parking lots are used. With the opening of the new John E. Jaqua Academic Learning Center for Student Athletes at the corner of East 13th Ave. and Agate St., a new parking lot will open. The spaces in this lot, Lot 15 (located just east of the Learning Center off East 13th Ave.), will be reserved for users of the learning center only. There will also be 10 spaces with a 30-minute limit controlled by a multi-space meter for visitors to the coffee shop, which is housed inside the center.

Lot 34F, site of the old basketball courts on East 15th Ave. just east of the Museum of Cultural and Natural History, and Lot 45, the lot at the corner of Walnut St. and Franklin Blvd., will also be reserved for users of the Jaqua Learning Center. New lot entry signs will be put up on December 31, 2009, to be in effect beginning winter term 2010. The signs will read “Jaqua Center Permit Only, At All Times, 90 Minute Limit.” …

Here is Phil’s contract on this with UO. It’s pretty amazing stuff. Our Uncle drives a tough bargain – or perhaps Frohnmayer just drives a lousy one has his own reserved spot and doesn’t give a shit.

Update: I’ve had a few questions about how I got this contract. Let’s just say that someone with pretty good access to official documents is “… fed up with what has been happening here at UO and I have had it with Melinda Grier and her …” However, it is a public record and it is perfectly legal to redistribute it.

You can request public records by sending an email to UO Assistant Counsel Doug Park, at gcounsel@uoregon.edu and telling him what you are looking for. Under Oregon law Doug has a statutory obligation to help you. More info on getting public records is available at the excellent website OpenUpOregon.com.