Thursday, April 4, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 123


Committee hears parking concerns

By Keenan Singleton
Daily Cougar Staff

To be or not to be that was the question posed by Shakespeare's tragic hero Hamlet. To have trees or not to have trees, and
where to put them, was the query the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee had to answer during a Wednesday meeting
at McElhinney Hall.

The committee heard plans from Caren Burns, director of campus planning and real estate, about extending the size of the
recreation fields after the expected demolition of the Wendy's restaurant on Cullen Boulevard in Fall 2002.

A new Wendy's would be built next to the Burger King restaurant on Scott Street. The relocation would come less than a year after the
establishment was closed for remodeling during the winter break.

"We want to be able to plant two rows of trees starting from (Interstate) 45 South and Cullen by Sept. 7 (the date of the annual Bayou
Bucket football game between UH and Rice University)," Burns said.

Burns stressed that despite the continual need for additional parking on campus, the space used for the row of trees wouldn't steal
many eligible future spaces.

"There will be no significant loss of parking spaces with the Cullen trees," Burns said. He added that the long-term needs of the
University were still being addressed.

"Parking isn't a new issue; it's been a problem here for the past 20 years," Burns said. "We are getting new spaces faster than we
were even just two years ago. The count of new spaces has been affected proactively."

Other beautification projects include creating neighborhood portals entryways to UH on the cusp of the campus grounds and
devising a plan to place a well-defined perimeter around the periphery of the University.

Other items on the agenda were proposed parking for the planned Greek Village and the Recreation Center on Calhoun Street and
public transportation.

Ira Shepard, a professor at the UH Law Center and a member of the committee, questioned the absence of available parking for
some of the new and recent buildings on campus, like the recreation center and the Athletic/Alumni Center.

"I'm not happy," Shepard said. "All these buildings should be built with parking in mind. The rec center should carry its own parking
and it doesn't.

"When you put a facility there, it will crowd out regular parkers. We're asking for problems if we continue to allow (a) new building to
be placed on campus without parking to accompany it."

The committee will next meet at 1 p.m. April 24 in the Human Resources Conference Room on the third floor of McElhinney Hall.

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