On Oct. 16, the Office of Transportation and Parking sent an email to all of the Lewis & Clark with a link to a Parking and Transportation survey.
“Every two years, the City of Portland requires us to measure our progress in reducing single occupancy vehicle trips to campus,” the email read.
Transportation and Parking Manager Joey Zayas, on behalf of the Department of Parking and Transportation, explained that this survey is critical for students to complete, as it provides data to ensure LC’s legal parking status within the City of Portland.
“The Lewis & Clark campus is zoned as a Campus Institutional 1 (CI1) land use under the City of Portland’s land use planning system. As a CI1 land use, we are required to have a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan. The plan requires LC to perform surveys for data-tracking purposes,” Zayas said. “LC has had a TDM since 1998, with requirements connected to certain key benchmarks.”
The survey will be around 25 questions and should take about five minutes to complete. While this is a regular administrative task and LC’s parking situation is not immediately threatened, it is still important that students do their part by filling out the survey to make sure it remains a non-issue.
“We have not had issues with response rates and have always exceeded our objectives. We do not anticipate any issues with hitting our objectives this year. But it is important to ensure our students respond because we are required to have a minimum 30% response rate,” Zayas said.
Even students who do not have a car on campus and are not concerned about parking should still take the survey, as the opinions of all are valuable in forming a comprehensive view of the campus transportation situation.
“It is important for students without vehicles to complete the survey. The survey is meant to capture how all members of our community get to school or work, including students who live on campus,” Zayas said.
“Your input is crucial and will play a key role in shaping goals and making improvements,” the email said.
Indeed, the Office of Parking and Transportation is always looking to evaluate and improve transportation options to better suit the community’s needs.
“I am eager to look for innovative ways of spearheading the parking challenges at Lewis & Clark College. LC and I share a commitment to sustainability. The TDM is a roadmap that re-envisions transportation and parking in an effort to ensure a more sustainable world for current and future LC students,” Zayas said. “One of my top priorities is to have more engagement with our community to share our progress, be open about challenges that we face, and not shying away from feedback.”
Students’ opinions have the potential to directly impact our transportation options.
“The TDM plan sets targets aimed at achieving the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) goals on climate change, reducing congestion and improving safety and livability,” Zayas said. “How we manage parking is just one part of the plan. Encouraging carpooling and the use of Tri-Met, subsidizing public transportation, providing the PioExpress shuttle, maintaining adequate bicycle parking and communicating regularly with adjacent neighborhoods are also key parts of the plan.”
Leila Diaz ’25 agrees with the TDM’s goal of reducing the number of cars on campus. She hopes the Office of Transportation and Parking will increase the convenience of the parking system while retaining the college’s natural beauty. Diaz recommends reducing the number of parking passes sold in order to lower the frequency of students from being unable to find spaces.
“My opinion on parking on campus is (that) it is very limited,” Diaz said. “However, … I like that we haven’t torn down a lot of the beautiful natural aspects of our campus to make room for more parking lots. I know that there is no cap on the parking passes that are sold and I do think this makes it significantly more difficult to find parking spaces. … The biggest thing is limiting the parking passes that are available to be sold, or limiting it to where only juniors and seniors can have cars on campus.”
JR Saling ’24, also voiced concerns about parking.
“Campus parking can be really hard because there’s so few spots, and they’re usually pretty far from your destination,” Saling said. “Even the handicapped spots are often multiple flights of stairs away from where you’re trying to get to. Especially with the removal of the Tri-Met bus lines and unreliability of the Pio, having a parking plan is really important. We definitely need more space on campus, and better accessibility.”
The Office of Parking and Transportation urges students to complete the survey by Oct. 27. Those who do so will be entered into a raffle to win a $10 Amazon gift card.