Permit parking, shuttle service to combat parking issues

The City of Platteville and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville continued to collaborate on parking concerns after the completion of Rountree Hall.

In 2011, the City of Platteville approved plans for UW-Platteville to construct a new residence hall, Rountree Commons, on the corner of West Gridley Avenue and South Chestnut Street.

However, this site could not provide the room needed for a parking lot large enough to accommodate the number of students who would live in the hall.

Fortunately, the university was able to acquire a plot of land on the corner of Irene St. and Jay St., where two houses were located.

With the houses facing destruction, local Mark Ihm, made a proposal to the city.

“I proposed that the city allow me to purchase the houses on the basis that I would move the houses somewhere else and they could use the land for a parking lot,” said Ihm. “I thought it would be a waste to tear them down.”

The city feared that with the new parking lot being so far away from the hall that students would park on the streets surrounding the new dorm. This would not allow for the residents in the area to park outside their homes in an already crowded community, said Platteville City Manager Larry Bierke.

Bierke explained that the city’s original plan was to create a permit-required parking system for those streets within a 1,000 foot proximity of the new residence hall.

“However, with the new parking lot more than 1,000 feet from the building, the public thought that the students would still not be compelled to park in the lot,” Bierke said. “That’s why we now require a permit to park on streets within 2,000 feet of the building.”

The permits are free to residents within the 2,000 foot radius, with two permits being allotted to each dwelling unit, said Bierke.

Students living in the Commons are not able to purchase such permits.

Should a guest be staying with a resident living on an affected street, the resident can apply for a guest permit with the Parks and Recreation Department, which allows temporary parking on the street for up to three days, said Bierke.

Those found in violation of the permit system will be issued a $50 ticket, with any subsequent violations resulting in another $50 fine and towing of the vehicle, at their expense.

If a car owner believes that they have been improperly ticketed, they can file a complaint form which will be reviewed by any officer besides the one who issued the citation.

“This was not done for a revenue source,” Bierke said, “but to help solve a potential problem.”

Bierke said that the $19,122.78 it cost the city to install the permit parking signs could never be made back through ticket revenue.

Also helping to combat the growing parking concern, UW-Platteville has instituted a shuttle service.

The service was deemed necessary via a 2011 survey of 2,000 students who identified a shuttle as the most preferable means of easing transportation woes, according to Christina Curras, special assistant to the assistant chancellor for administrative services.

Curras said that the shuttles follow two primary routes, the “Campus Loop,” which stops at various places around the UW-Platteville campus, and the “Shopping Loop,” which travels between campus and certain places in downtown Platteville.

“The goal is to get people to campus,” said Curras, “Not around it.”

The shuttles are funded by Segregated University Fee Allocation Commission, which took $30 from each student’s segregated fees to create the service.

The service is free to any UW-Platteville student, and for any non-student it will cost $1 per  ride or $30 for a year pass. All proceeds earned will go to the UW-Platteville Transportation Department.

Visit uwplatt.edu/transportation for more specific information on the loops and their stops.