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.

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