Speaking Out

The following letter was sent by the author to the Office of Transportation and Parking, and to Almanac for publication. A response appears below it.

What About Late Parkers?

This concerns the parking availability in the area around 36th Street, now that the surface lot at 36th & Walnut has been closed (including, to our surprise, the elimination of all public street parking around this lot as well). It is my understanding that the new lot at 38th & Walnut is meant to "replace" the services provided by the closed lot.

My concern is for potential latenight and weekend customers of business, particularly restaurants, in the area. From what I've heard, the new lot will close at midnight during the school year (and earlier in the summertime;

and until now this new lot has been closed most Sundays and during school vacations). Many restaurant customers like to stay late, perhaps dining after an evening Annenberg performance, and these customers will be reluctant to use the new lot if they will be locked out after midnight. We also host many special events which can run late. At the old surface lot you paid in advance and could leave the lot at any time.

The University says that they wish to make this area commercially more vibrant. While I hope that this may be so, I am con-cerned about the parking situation, which may in the long run deter potential customers from coming to this area. Just a few days ago I met with a potential wedding client (for a reception scheduled for August 1998) who was worried about the availability of late night parking. In short, I think that the time restrictions on the new parking lot mean that this facility is somewhat less than a "replacement" for the old.

Is it not possible that some accomodation could be made for these concerns?

Roger Harman, G '77
The Gold Standard at Penn

Response to Dr. Harman

Dr. Harman is correct: the new parking garage (#30) at 38th & Walnut Streets was erected to replace the services provided by the closure of the surface lot at 36th & Walnut. Since July 21, 1997, when the surface lot closed for construction of Sansom Common, the new garage has been open until midnight during weekdays, 11 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Penn's Department of Transportation and Parking has been canvasing the many retail establishments, theatres, etc. in and around campus to identify their business hours; and as a result the current summer operating schedule for the garage will change after Labor Day.

The operating hours for Garage #30, effective September 2, 1997 and continuing for the academic year will be:

Monday - Saturday 6 a.m - 2 a.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Please note: the posted operating hours may be increased to accommodate special events on campus. Anyone hosting a special event on campus should contact the Department of Transportation and Parking (898-8667) so that parking accommodations can be made.

Robert Furniss, Director
Transportation and Mail Services