University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Board of Regents Governance

Regent Policy

No. 7

Transportation Policy

The University of Washington is a major participant with the City and community groups in transportation/traffic/parking planning for the greater University area. As such, the University shall designate staff and provide them sufficient resources to participate fully and actively with the City, other transportation planning agencies, and community groups to address resolution of transportation/parking problems in the greater University area.

1.  Transportation Modes

  A. Commuting

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors (including Health Sciences patients and research subjects) must have daily access to the campus. To assist in assuring this access, the University shall encourage a wide variety of transportation alternatives. The University shall assign priorities and shall provide support to each transportation mode according to its functional ability for each user category, its service of City-University Agreement requirements, and its minimal economic, social, and environmental costs.

  B. Intra-Campus

The University shall minimize disruptive and hazardous modes of travel on its campus and encourage those modes consistent with environmental protection, City-University agreement requirements, and safety for pedestrians. To this end, the University shall continue existing programs and develop new programs to encourage walking, while discouraging other, less preferred modes of on-campus travel.

  C. Provision of Goods and Services

In order to provide expeditious delivery of goods and services, the University shall designate load/unload zones, scheduling of deliveries, and parking areas for service vehicles' access for the delivery of goods and services to all areas of the University.

  D. Unique Transportation Needs

Special provisions shall be made for individuals or groups having unique transportation needs that cannot be met by strict adherence to the general modal policies established above. The University shall assess unique transportation needs justified by physical disabilities, unresolvable scheduling conflicts, and special community services. Further, the University shall, insofar as practicable, provide special services and privileges that meet these needs while minimizing subsidies and social and environmental costs.

  E. Special Events

Planning for special events at the University of Washington is necessary to reduce traffic congestion, allow parking for normal University functions which must go on during the events, and diminish adverse impacts on neighboring areas. A single University agency such as the Transportation Office shall be responsible for stating and enforcing regulations which identify procedures to be followed and standards to be achieved by University departments and programs in planning and implementing transportation/traffic/parking mitigation measures for special events to be held on the University campus.

2.  Organization and Planning

The University shall maintain explicitly assigned responsibility for transportation/parking, policy, and operations. The Vice President for Finance and Facilities shall be responsible for recommending policy, planning, and administering transportation/parking programs.

3.  Funding Strategies

The University supports development of creative, alternative funding sources for Parking/Transportation Programs. The Transportation Office shall be responsible for coordinating activities to develop alternative funding strategies with the University Budget Office and such other offices as may be necessary to achieve the following:

  A. Develop systematic procedures to account for and reimburse the Transportation Program for transportation costs incurred by grants, contracts, and other awards to the University, either by identifying these as part of indirect costs, or by assuring reimbursement from direct costs.

  B. Work with the Facility Management Office and such other offices as may be necessary to incorporate cost estimates for transportation/parking features in the budget analysis of proposed capital projects, whether these be new transportation/parking facilities or replacement of displaced facilities. To the extent feasible, capital projects, which eliminate established parking spaces, should bear the full cost of replacement, including site development. Through cooperative effort with the University Planning and Budgeting Office, provide, where possible, funds for such facilities as may be required from sources other than parking fees.

Parking system reserves should be used only where no other funding source is available.

  C. Arrange for the reimbursement of complimentary parking permit costs to the Transportation Program budget.

  D. Work with the University Planning and Budgeting Office to develop systems for identifying and reimbursing the Transportation Program transportation costs in academic and other programs conducted by the University.

  E. Periodically survey and analyze fees assessed for parking in commercial facilities comparable in type and quality to those of the University, and recommend visitor and special event parking fees commensurate with these rates.

  F. Continue funding for such programs as the Health Sciences Express, Transit Pass Subsidy, Disabled Shuttle Bus, Van Pool, Car Pool, METRO Commuter Pool participation, on-campus Commuter Information program, and bicycle improvements from a mix of revenue sources which includes the state budget, hospital and Health Sciences, parking violations revenues, parking system revenues, and van pool fees.

4.  Transportation/Parking Program Cost Elements

In order to ensure that revenues from the self-sustaining auxiliary parking program are applied to parking/transportation cost elements in accord with explicit criteria, the Transportation Office and its Parking Division, with the advice of the Advisory Committee on Transportation, shall recommend allocation of parking system revenues to transportation program cost elements to achieve the following:

  A. Parking system revenues shall be applied in accord with a system of priorities, the highest priority being program operations, debt reduction and service, and reserves. The second priority shall be to support programs which aim to persuade faculty, staff, and students to commute to the campus by means other than SOV. Such programs might include, but not be limited to: transportation marketing surveys to evaluate effectiveness; carpool and commuter information; incentives to support HOV use; inter- and intra-campus transportation systems; and improved bicycle facilities, including paths and storage units and racks. The third and last priority will be to construct new parking facilities. When parking system revenues are used for this purpose, University standards for facilities construction and site development will be met.

  B. Parking system revenues shall not substitute for budget reductions in such other transportation program revenue sources as may exist, but rather shall be used only to enhance synergistically funding for these program cost elements after allocations for the expenditures prioritized above have been made.

  C. Parking system fees shall be set both in accord with the fee structure identified below and at levels sufficient to meet costs incurred in the priorities identified in Subsection 4.A above. Any fees required to construct new facilities shall be identified as a surcharge for capital purposes.

5.  Structure of Parking Fee Schedule

In order that the UW Parking Fee Schedule generate revenues for the Parking/Transportation Program commensurate with incentives for high occupancy vehicle usage, special user needs, low administrative cost, simple management procedures, and community standards, the UW Transportation Office shall be responsible for developing, evaluating, and revising parking fee schedules, with the advice of the Advisory Committee on Transportation, to achieve the following:

  A. Retain the zone-based fee structure, modified to reflect special user and student needs.

  B. Provide permits priced in a range of fees designed to reflect value of space assigned according to such criteria as campus centrality, covered or open, reserved or non-reserved, unrestricted or restricted, and incentives for carpooling (two-person carpools at a higher rate than carpools of three or more).

  C. Provide a range of fees to allow students and other users to choose an appropriate daily or hourly fee option.

  D. Have on a daily basis for a given space, the highest rate for hourly parking, followed by (in descending order) daily parking, parking by commuter ticket, and permit parking.

  E. Have visitor hourly/daily rates commensurate with commercial rates in the community for comparable parking.

  F. Have fees for special events equal to commercial rates, and include categories for different types of motorized vehicles (scooters, motorcycles, automobiles, motor homes, and charter buses).

6.  Parking Fee Levels

The Parking Division of the Transportation Office shall seek to achieve stability in parking system costs. The Transportation Office and its Parking Division shall prepare and recommend a revised fee schedule for review by the University Advisory Committee on Transportation.

BR, June 13, 1986; RC, January 22, 2014; RC, October 1, 2015.

For related information, see:

  • Chapter 478-116 WAC, "Parking and Traffic Rules of the University of Washington, Seattle."
  • Chapter 478-117 WAC, "Parking and Traffic Rules of the University of Washington, Bothell."
  • Chapter 478-118 WAC, "Parking and Traffic Rules of the University of Washington, Tacoma."