After new parking and transportation initiatives by the University, students have more chances to park in off-campus parking spots and ride a bus to campus.
An addition of 200 spaces on the State Street commuter lot and bus transportation improvement are ways the University is coping with the ever-increasing demand for more parking spaces.
At the first Board of Regents meeting of the semester yesterday, Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, presented a parking strategy that included a plan to build a 500-space parking structure on East Ann Street and an addition to the structure on Thompson Street.
The combination of more parking spaces and an improved transportation system is a way to deal with the parking situation, Baier said.
“Our transportation system has been enhanced to help students have increased options for parking,” said Baier. “We’ve added extra Michigan buses so that buses come more frequently for students going up to North or South campus.”
Director of Parking and Transportation Pat Cunningham said the buses now come every 20 minutes after 7 p.m.
The executive vice president for medical affairs for the University’s Health System, Robert Kelch, left his first regents’ meeting with an approval for an $8.7 million upgrade on a medical research tool called cyclotron.
Cyclotron helps diagnose cancer, neurological diseases and cardiovascular disease.
Also at the meeting, Vice President for Research Fawwaz Ulaby announced a 14.3 percent research funding increase – the largest percentage increase since 1987.
Though research funding increases every year, this year’s funding for the Life Sciences Institute primarily from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accounted for 50 percent of the growth, Ulaby said.