To compensate for the decreased on-campus parking availability due to ongoing construction, Transportation & Parking Services (TPS) has implemented a free valet service for students, faculty and staff.

The closure of two on-campus parking lots on the west side of campus to make way for construction of the new Student Resource Building and a new parking structure has forced parking services to double-park cars, said Bob Sundberg, assistant director of TPS. Construction on the Bren School and California Nanosystems Institute buildings has also contributed to the reduced number of parking spots, he said. Drivers wishing to park in Lots 6, 12, 21 or 27 before 9 a.m. are asked to double-park their cars behind previously parked cars and leave their keys with Quality Parking Services, a hired valet service. After 9 a.m., valet attendants will park the cars.

The newly implemented “stack parking” strategy, which began last week, will not cost any money for faculty, staff and students who have a valid C permit for Lots 21 and 27, Sundberg said. Quality Parking Services will be on site in each parking lot daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and valets will move double-parked cars throughout the day as more spaces become available within lots.

“Drivers will have to leave their keys with valets so that other cars can be moved and rearranged as the day goes on and people enter and leave the lots at different times,” Sundberg said.

Sundberg said that drivers whose cars are still in the lots after 6 p.m. will not be ticketed. They will, however, have to pick up their keys at the campus police department, located in the Public Safety Building at 1120 Mesa Rd. Because of this, drivers should consider bringing a second set of keys. He also said keys that are not picked up by 6 p.m. will be kept overnight and will be returned to their original lot where car owners can pick them up the following morning.

Sundberg said stack parking may cause some delays, but most feedback to the program has been positive.

“We’ve had a few complaints, but I’d say we have gotten more positive responses than negative because I think people realize that there are tradeoffs in order to increase the inventory of available parking spaces located closer to peoples’ destinations,” Sundberg said.

Communications professor W. James Potter said he has avoided the valet service for various reasons, including not wanting to leave his keys with valets all day. Some, however, said they think the valet service is helpful in allowing drivers to park closer to their final destinations.

“I haven’t had to wait that long for my car to be moved,” said Luke Fretwell, a third-year English major. “Usually by the end of the day there are enough spots, so that cars aren’t double-parked anymore.”

Sundberg said the valet service will continue through the end of 2005 when both Parking Structures 2 and 3 are expected to be finished.