The University is in the process of inviting administrators, faculty, students and staff to join a new advisory group on issues related to transportation, traffic and parking.
The purpose of the new Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee is to serve “as a channel for the expression of constituent and individual opinions and preferences on broad policy matters and specific issues related to both existing and proposed transportation and parking services for the campus,” Elizabeth Gentry, vice president of business and financial services, wrote in an email to The Herald.
There will be 16 positions on the committee, including two undergraduate student representatives. The faculty, staff and student representatives will serve one-year terms, with the option to renew for an additional year, according to the Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee charge.
The committee will discuss how to improve traffic circulation and other changes to transportation policy by providing data and analysis to “inform decision-making,” Gentry wrote.
Since the University is “still in the process of sourcing the committee representation,” the group has not officially met yet, Gentry wrote. She added that the committee will not be directly implementing any changes, as they are purely an advisory group.
“Internal stakeholders will be accessed regarding service requirements as needed,” the charge reads.
The opportunity to serve as an undergraduate student representative on this committee was announced in an Oct. 5 Undergraduate Council of Students weekly email.
Gordon Jacobs ’24 is one of the undergraduate representatives who has already been appointed by the University to serve on this committee. Jacobs said he was encouraged to apply for the position, which was open to everyone regardless of experience, by a friend serving on UCS.
The committee, which will meet monthly once assembled, will represent “a wide range of people,” he said. It will be “strategic, collaborative and make sure that the decisions that they make regarding parking are a good move and will work well in the future.”
Jacobs emphasized the importance of the committee working with the city of Providence. The University has various parking agreements with the city of Providence, with some spots around campus leased directly from the city, he said.
“When Brown has spots that they rent from Providence, then there’s obviously less spots for the people who actually live around Providence,” he noted. “They have to find a balance.”
Jacobs, who currently has a car on campus, thinks that finding free, legal parking is a concern among students.
“If you leave your car on the street, Brown either doesn’t know or if you leave it in one of the (University) spots then they’ll just ticket you because you’re not allowed to be there,” he said. “It’s pretty much just finding a place where you’re legally allowed to be.”
Spots provided by the school are limited to graduate and medical students, employees and some juniors and seniors, per the Office of Transportation’s website. Currently, students must fill out an application for a permit to have access to University parking spots and lots.
Even though the committee hasn’t officially met yet, Jacobs is excited to get started.
“I’m interested to learn more about what exactly the issues are that we’re going to be discussing,” he said, “and the changes that would actually be made.”
Indigo Mudbhary is a University news senior staff writer covering student government. In her free time, she enjoys running around Providence and finding new routes.