Transportation Services WSU Pullman Zone Parking Background

WSU Pullman Zone Parking Background

Why a zone parking system?  The WSU zone parking system was launched in the Fall of 1991 in order to provide a higher level of customer service for permit holders.  Zone parking has been found at WSU and other universities to provide the highest level of both customer satisfaction and efficient space utilization.

Before Zone Parking:  Prior to the zone parking system, parking permits were generally sold to employees and students without a limit and without regard for the parking patrons preferred parking area.  Parking permits were often referred to as “hunting licenses”, and the hunt for the best parking space resulted in frustration and excessive traffic circulation.  Permits were priced higher for employees, and lower for students without consideration of perceived value.  Parking supply was separated by employee lots and student lots, with the latter being the more distant.

Zone Parking System:  The zone parking system separates the campus parking supply into smaller manageable geographic zones.  Patrons select their most preferred zone, and since the sale of permits is limited for each zone, permit holders can expect to find a parking space within that zone any time of the day.  Wait lists are established for patrons who are unable to get their most preferred zone.  Because parking is more predictable and reliable, the search for parking and resulting traffic is greatly reduced.

The price of each zone is reflected in an appropriate relative value based on three criteria.  All three criteria are considered together in determining the relative value of each zone and were used to determine the proposed changes.

  1. (1) Demand: This is where competition for space is the greatest.
  2. (2) Proximity:  This refers to parking located closest to desired locations.
  3. (3) Quality: This refers to paved, gravel, or covered parking, and pedestrian access.