Our light rail system will be getting a lot of new riders in the very near future. As ASU students return from their winter break, they will have their first opportunity to check out a new way to get to and from campus. Along with these new riders will come an increase in demand on parking spaces near campus and at the new park and ride locations. At a Tempe Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning, I heard there will be new restrictions on Apache Boulevard, limiting parking spaces along the street to 90 minutes with a plan for the street to eventually have parking meters installed. Please note, I don't believe these changes have yet taken place and I believe the meters still need final approval but, from what I was told, there has been support from the Chamber and from the business community. Much of the thought behind the Apache parking restrictions has to do with easier access for people visiting businesses along the street. Eliminating these parking spaces from the pool of daily spots should put more demand on other lots, such as the light rail park and ride lots.
All light rail park and ride locations operate on a "first come, first served" basis which means that ASU students can use them free of charge. As parking rates continue to increase on campus, there is sure to be a higher demand for "free" parking. As the public begins to use the system, there promises to be a higher demand for park and ride lots. To date, I have not had any real problems finding a parking space at the light rail park and ride locations I have used. I believe the busiest lots have been the ones at the ends of the lines but as school begins, I have a feeling the ones close to campus will be very popular.
According to a recent Metro study, there is a very high concentration of ASU students living in South Tempe, West Mesa and in the Chandler area. For these students, it might make a lot of sense to take advantage of the four park and ride locations East of the main campus. These locations are at:
Dorsey Lane / Apache Blvd (190 spaces)
McClintock Drive / Apache Blvd (300 spaces)
Price Freeway and Apache Blvd (693 spaces)
Sycamore / Main Street (802 spaces)
So, welcome back ASU students! Enjoy the new light rail system and be sure to visit www.RailLife.com often! Remember, as of December 27th, "Your Life Is One The Line!"