The ever-frustrating parking space hunt will get a little easier for members of the UNM community lucky enough to win the lottery.
UNM Parking and Transportation Services is opening the former Bob Turner Ford parking lot at the southwest corner of Lomas and University Boulevards to the public via an online lottery system at parktrans.unm.edu/turner.cfm. The lot, dubbed Zone T, will be accessible to faculty, staff and students with permits.
Students, faculty and staff must register for the lottery via the Parking and Transportation Services' Web site to earn the right to purchase a Zone T permit that will cost $95 for a full year. The site is accepting requests and will continue to do so until the lottery ends March 16. Winners will be contacted with instructions on how to pick up a permit March 20.
The permits are good through August, and the University will charge prorated rates to people who win the permit lottery. Students with park-and-ride permits will be charged $18.75, surface lot permits will not be charged anything and those making a new permit purchase will be charged $39.56.
Faculty and staff also will not be charged when exchanging their new permits with surface lot spaces. Employees with park-and-ride passes will pay $48.31, $58.75 or $75.00 based on their salary bracket and those making new permit purchases will be charged $69.12, $79.56 or $95.81 based on their pay.
Those using payroll deductions to pay for their permits, the deduction will be adjusted to reflect any price difference incurred when switching or purchasing a new pass.
Josh Kavanagh, public information representative for Parking and Transportation Services, said Julie Weaks, interim vice president for business and finance, came up with the idea of distributing the new parking spaces via a lottery system.
"We're excited about the new lot," Kavanagh said. "I've been here for just about two years, and we've never had a addition of parking this big. We've had smaller gains, but nothing like this."
He said the University is still figuring out how many spaces the large parking lot will hold, but earlier estimates by the Facility and Planning Department estimated at least 200 spots. Kavanagh said Parking and Transportation Services' intent to sell permits for at the lowest possible permit-to-space ratio.
Once the lot is set up, it will feature shuttle service to Maxwell Museum and supplemental bicycle patrol security.
"I think that the shuttle plan that we have in place, with a drop area on the west side of the campus near Maxwell Museum, is going to provide superb access for faculty, staff and students as most of the academic and administration buildings are clustered on that part of the campus," he said.
Kavanagh said the parking lot has the potential to become the most sought-after UNM parking area because of its convenient location.
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"I think it has the potential to be extremely beneficial," he said. "It basically depends on what the customers use patterns end up being. I hope they take advantage of it because it could really be a good thing for everyone involved."