Why the garage expansion will be a good thing for UNLV

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Parking is a necessity for those who commute to campus. However, UNLV is notorious for having hectic traffic conditions in the parking lots, which create poor circulation on campus. Fortunately, the UNLV Parking & Transportation Services has started a construction project to expand the Tropicana Parking Garage to help improve traffic flow.  

The construction project will result in expanding the Tropicana Parking Garage into the Red Lot, which is currently unavailable, and will result in the increase of the garage’s capacity by approximately 758 spaces. Moreover, this will ultimately improve the traffic flow and address the need for additional on-campus parking. 

Tad McDowell, UNLV’s Director of Parking & Transportation Services, said that this project has many benefits, including closer parking to the residence halls, more covered and convenient parking, reduction in pedestrian or vehicle conflicts and increased visitor parking availability.

Given that the university is getting closer to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic struck and that most classes are returning to on-campus learning, it is probably a good time to expand the parking garage to accommodate returning students and staff. 

The projected timeline for the garage expansion is Sept. 2021 through Aug. 2022. Working hours take place Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Construction hours may vary due to weather conditions. As mentioned before, the garage will expand towards the Red Lot, meaning the Red Lot is currently closed. The Tropicana Parking Garage will remain open for the duration of the project.

Some may question why the construction project should start now, pointing out that the project will create more traffic jams, fewer parking spaces, road closures and loud construction noises. However, UNLV Parking & Transportation services mentioned solutions for these issues.

UNLV Parking & Transportation services announced alternative parking at the following locations: the Tropicana Parking Garage, the Scarlet Lot and Resident Lot A for students and staff. They mentioned that there should be limited distributions during working hours and construction workers will muffle the noise by placing silencers on their equipment.

Besides the Tropicana Parking Garage expansion, UNLV is expanding and opening parking lots across the campus. The area between the Graduate Arts Studios building and the Harmon Auxiliary Building are being combined into one parking lot. 

The other is that the area across Maryland Parkway from the Student Union with access to Del Mar St. will be developed into a parking lot. Both parking lots are for additional faculty, staff and students. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. 

McDowell announced that it took approximately three years for this project to be approved, designed and constructed, so UNLV has made sure that this massive project will not affect a student’s learning experience.

These changes will be extremely beneficial to everyone on campus in helping to alleviate the cumbersome parking dilemma. While these changes may cause short-term problems at first, they will slowly become nonexistent once the project is finished and will improve parking on campus immensely.

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