UTC officials have been working on a new plan to help make parking easier across campus.


Editor’s Note: This is a proposed plan and we need your input. Please give feedback by completing this survey or leaving comments on this story. For a detailed map of the proposed plan and pricing, go to: https://www.utc.edu/auxiliary-services/parking/newplan.php.


UTC Parking officials have proposed a new parking plan to improve parking on campus. This new plan will divide the existing parking lots into four different types: Commuter, Residential, Reserved and Event. If approved, it will go into effect for fall 2018.

Commuters consist of non-residential students and the majority of faculty and staff. Commuter permits will allow you to park in any Commuter lot or Event lot.

Residential students can purchase a Residential permit which will allow a residential student to park in any Residential parking lot. Residential lots will be located near the residential areas and will be sold very close to one permit per space model.

Reserved permits will only be sold to faculty and staff. There will only be a limited number of these permits available.

Event lots will be available for Commuter permits, unless the University is hosting a large event that reserves a particular lot.

The ultimate goal is to make it easier to park for everyone. “The current parking system has a lot of inefficiencies that we’re trying to correct,” says David Seidel, assistant director of parking services. “The people that are the most frustrated with our current arrangements are going to like this plan a lot.”

The current plan has a lot of inefficiencies because of the Reserved lots, said Seidel. If a group of individuals that have Reserved permits are not on campus that day, then those spaces will sit empty. This leads to frustration for those in General lots that are typically more full. Reducing the number of Reserved lots means spaces that may be empty now will be available to Commuter permit holders.

The new plan is flexible and allows for tweaks to be made even after the school begins, Seidel says. For instance, if the data shows that of the 2,400 or so expected Residential permit sales, only 2,000 permits are sold, a Residential lot can be switched to Commuter. The opposite is true if more housing students buy permits than expected. In either case, the lot designations will be data driven to ensure that all spaces are being used and not sitting empty.

“It’s fluid. If we decide to change a Commuter lot to a Residential lot, you’re not kicked out of your assigned lot; you don’t have to be reissued a permit. You just park in any of the other Commuter lots. Also, in our current plan, if many violators are taking up spaces in a Reserved lot you cannot just go to another Reserved lot. In this new plan, you can utilize any Commuter lot, which will be primarily near the academic buildings.”

The proposed plan has been shown to such groups as the Student Government Association, the Panhellenic Council, several employee representative groups, and the Disability Resource Center, among others, Seidel says. Now they want everyone on campus to review the plan and voice their opinions.

Parking officials are confident that the proposed changes will lead to more efficient use of the existing parking spaces, but they also acknowledge that, at first, there will be a period of adjustment.

“People don’t like change, and it will be a culture change,” Seidel says. “But we know from looking at the data, this plan will allow us to fully utilize the available parking spaces and prepare us for any new growth in enrollment by greatly reducing inefficiencies and fully utilizing the existing parking spaces.”

To make sure everyone gets a chance to offer input on the proposed plan, a special survey has been created.




Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call 423-425-4363.
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7 Comments » for Proposed Parking Plan: Feedback is needed
  1. Wahtawah TJ says:

    Thank you for the proposed idea of a Commuter Lot. Yes, yes, yes!! TJ Battle, Maryville, TN !!

  2. Travis Morris says:

    Disabled students, faculty and staff should not have to purchase a parking permit in order to park in a handicapped parking space. This is absurd. I will be contacting the ADA about this.

  3. DeAndre Cole says:

    This is ridiculous. Nobody has 500+ dollars for a permit when we already pay thousands of dollars just to go here. This is absurd and this should not be approved. The thing that should be discussed is getting more parking, not upping the prices. RIDICULOUS!

  4. Deborah McAllister says:

    I am writing the same comment that I made in the Faculty Senate meeting on 09/21. In review of the digital video of the focus group for faculty and staff, Mr. Seidel stated that faculty and staff would not have difficulty finding a parking spot in a commuter lot, as they arrive on campus between 7 and 9 in the morning, before most commuter students arrive. I do not believe that to be the case for faculty. The video is available at the following address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJXvUZhEFBA . In comparison of older and newer parking maps, there may have been some changes to the lot designations since the time of the focus group, so faculty should review the most current information. Thanks.

  5. diego says:

    this an absolutely ridiculous proposition. if anything all lots should be accessable with 1 pass with 1 price for the year and then everybody would have an easier time parking and you’d be able to find a spot easier adding more parking is also a better solution than what is being proposed. utc should rethink how they spend money and realize what will benefit students more in the long run. stop trying to just find ways to take our money

  6. Concerned Parent says:

    Does this mean the three parking tickets my student has received already this fall will be refunded? A reserved parking pass at UTC is basically worthless.

  7. Layton Jackson says:

    How will this proposed plan affect retirees who get yearly general parking?