University of Warwick Plans for New Parking Garage

The University of Warwick is planning a new parking garage on campus. It is also requesting feedback from various constituencies, which you can leave here. People are encouraged to leave feedback if they are interested in having input and potentially shaping the project.

As always, these products look pretty and the university has – by some accounts (namely the British Car Parking Association) – done a good job during the last round of car parking construction. As we have previously pointed out, the approach to that new car park, which is also part of Cycling Route 52, could however use some improvements.

According to the project description, the planners aim for an “efficient and safe new car park” and for “[h]igh quality pedestrian routes will be provided to link the car park into campus” (see here). Moreover, the total number of spaces will still be below the limits agreed upon with Coventry City Council, although we understand that the number of remaining slots is decreasing. What happens in the future remains unclear, as the impact of the new “main entrance” to the University from the A46 Link Road Scheme is still in the planning stages.

Here are some thoughts we sent to the planners of the new parking garage. They concern first better bicycle parking as the new structure will be constructed on a site where bicycle parking is currently in operation. We would propose to provide covered bike parking with a bicycle repair stand built into or close to the garage. Given that the costs are – in comparison to a car parking garage – minimal, such facilities could become part of this project. If we were to dream, the university could actually do something fantastic like a bikestation (happiness would consist of covered parking with some additional amenities) since there appears to be space for a future project between the new structure and University House.

The second comment concerns the ingresses and egresses onto Gibbet Hill Road and Kirby Corner. Both should be designed so that they are friendly for pedestrians. This includes relatively tight turning radii (we understand that one could argue that speed shouldn’t be an issue at peak times, but it can be even for such projects), speed tables for both departing and incoming vehicles and – crucially – giving pedestrians priority through zebra crossings.

The campus overall is not particularly friendly in that regard and lacks some of these rather basic elements that make the built environment pedestrian friendly. Car drivers regularly disregard pedestrians even in areas where shares spaces were built. These two areas on campus are prime examples, but so is pretty much every roundabout where pedestrians regularly have to contend with aggressive drivers.

It would be good to start improvements (even if that means slowing cars down) with this project.

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