The 1980s and 1990s

H Lot 1986
Cars parked in New Hampshire Lot (Lot H), 1986
University Photographs Collection, University Archives

During the late 1970s and 1980s, parking was much tighter due to the removal of parking lots near the center of campus. Also, future parking lots on the edges of campus had not yet been built. Complaints about parking began to be centered on the lack of finding convenient parking. In 1975 about 75% faculty and students were able to find parking within 5 minutes; however, in 1996, a survey stated that about 49% of faculty needed to search for parking.

Pressures on parking continued also as a result of cutbacks in campus provided public transportation. The success of public transportation depended on frequency of buses, cost to ridership, and convenient routes. In the 1980s, budget cutting led to fewer buses on the road, reduction in routes, and the perception of public transit as being inconvenient. Students, who have always been affected the most by changes in access to parking lots, voted to raise student fees in order to fund more public transit in the late 1990s.

College Road, now a major transit artery on campus, started as a parking lot and path to other parking areas on campus. One continuing problem for public transit on campus was the amount of traffic on major campus roads. Traffic slowed down the campus shuttles, leading to a perception that the shuttles were not frequent. There were proposals to address these traffic issues, such as the Loop Road project.