A number of changes in parking -- from more metered spots to more free parking hours -- went into effect this fall. If you're interested in doing a story, here are a few facts, updated from an Aug. 13 Inside Iowa State story -- "Parking: Meters, Moves Grace Periods." http://www.inside.iastate.edu/article/2015/08/13/parking
47 new meters have been added to create extra space for students and their vehicles. That brings the number of metered parking spots on campus to 782.
Parking officials worked with student leaders and several new parking conveniences – a meter-feeding app, a five-minute grace period on meters and extended free parking hours – are responses to student concerns.
The free Parkmobile smartphone app gives students and others an alternate way to pay at the prepay lots near the Lied Center (lot 100) and Armory (lot 21) and the east campus parking deck. Students can enter and exit the lots quickly, paying for parking while walking to class.
Parkmobile’s mobile payment system is simple and easy to use. Customers register by downloading the mobile app in their phone's app store or online at www.parkmobile.com. There's a 15-cent or 35-cent charge for each Parkmobile transaction, depending on how users set up payment. Those who select Parkmobile Wallet as their payment method will pay a reduced fee of 15 cents per transaction. Those who select traditional credit/debit card or PayPal payment will pay 35 cents per transaction.
The app sends alerts when meters are about to expire, allowing app users to buy more time via phone.
The Parkmobile app only works in the three prepay lots at present. It may be extended it to other university meters. All meters on campus still accept prepaid Smart Cards or coins.
More free parking
In the past, prepay lots required payment Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In response to student requests, officials extended free park times to the entire weekend and added more weekday free time in the early evening. The new hours for these prepay lots are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition, most individual meters throughout campus also will go to the 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. times.
Meters located at some spots, for example, the Memorial Union or State Gym, will continue to require payment all hours, all days. Pay hours are posted on each meter.
Five minutes of grace
Parking officials have instituted a five-minute grace period on campus meters. Once the meter reaches zero, drivers have five minutes of ticket amnesty. The meter will turn yellow and count backwards for 5 minutes.
Load zone timers
Enforcing the 30-minute load zones around residence halls and elsewhere can be challenging. Since the clock doesn't really start until a parking enforcement employee chalks their tires, some drivers could tie up these spots for an hour or more. New meters in these zones should help. The driver pushes a button for a free 30 minutes when leaving the car. The clock starts instantly. These meters will be installed in as many locations as physically possible.