Health Center Parking Update

(left to right) Keith Inrig, chair of the Parking Alternatives Workgroup, and Deputy Police Chief Ray Bouchard

(left to right) Keith Inrig, chair of the Parking Alternatives Work Group, and Deputy Police Chief Ray Bouchard answer questions during a town hall meeting about parking issues. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Center Photo)

As Bioscience Connecticut-related construction projects begin to transform the UConn Health Center campus, a town hall meeting was held in Keller Auditorium Thursday to inform employees about the latest parking plans.

Keith Inrig, first vice president of University Health Professionals and chair of the Parking Alternatives Work Group, presented several ideas that are in the early stages of discussion.

A number of off-campus parking sites have been suggested by employees, such as the Hartford Marriott Farmington on Farm Springs Road, a former car dealership on Route 6 near Tunxis Community College, and even Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

“The thing about remote off-site parking is, what happens if you have an emergency and you need to leave work right away,” Inrig says. “And what incentives can there be to get people to volunteer to park off-site? We’re open to ideas: What would get you to do it?”

Ideas can be sent to contactuhp@comcast.net.

There’s been talk of color-coding the shuttle bus routes and enhancing signage at the campus bus stops to make the shuttle system easier to understand and therefore more likely to be used. Also under consideration are possible ways to make the campus more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Telecommuting and flexing work hours also are on the table.

“Those have been referred to the unions, because they are mandatory subjects of bargaining,” Inrig says.

Deputy Police Chief Ray Bouchard announced the next phase in the effort to issue hangtags to all employees continues this month for those assigned to 400 Farmington Ave. (the Cell and Genome Sciences Building), 16 Munson Road, and Lot J, which is the lower lot that abuts Middle Road near the Munson Road entrance.

“It’s important to understand that we’re not moving anybody at this time,” Bouchard says. “We’ve been identifying people who park in these three locations, and those will be the ones assigned there. The hangtag system will help us with enforcement as the spaces on campus become more scarce.”

Public Safety expects to have the hangtags for these three lots, which combined have almost 1,000 spaces, distributed by Labor Day.

Bouchard also says both the express shuttle service and the patient and visitor valet parking have been well received.

Representatives from the commuter group CT Rides and CTTransit spoke about carpooling and city buses.

Maureen McGuire, interim associate vice president of communications, reminded the audience they can submit questions or concerns about parking or construction related issues through the Bioscience Connecticut website.

“We all need to be patient, be nice to each other, and know we’re all in this together,” Inrig says. “And remember this is temporary—think of how much parking will be here when all the construction is done.”

The meeting can be viewed on the Bioscience Connecticut website, http://biosciencect.uchc.edu.


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