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Although Fort Lewis College is a residential school, parking plays an extremely important role to two thirds of the student body as well as to faculty, staff, and visitors. Although the location of parking lots are along vehicular circulation routes, the distribution of available parking could be improved to better support building locations that serve the largest densities of the campus population. Ample spaces are available, however access to the higher demand parking areas on the south end of campus is somewhat competitive.
Currently, Fort Lewis College issues general use parking permits that allow for spaces to be occupied on a first come first serve basis. There are no parking lots that are specifically designated for certain groups. All patrons, regardless of type, can park anywhere they may find an unoccupied space. Because faculty, staff and students compete for available parking spaces on a first come first serve basis, there is some congestion in certain high demand parking lots during peak demand time periods. The college will need to find ways to address this concern as growth and development occur.
Limited spaces are dedicated for service vehicles and visitors. Service vehicle parking is provided near most buildings to allow for maintenance operations and / or deliveries. For visitors there are a limited number of designated spaces located in the lots serving buildings with administrative functions. Visitors may also choose to use metered parking that is available in four separate lots near the center of campus or may choose to purchase a daily or hourly permit that allows parking in any available parking space on campus.
Most parking lots are located between access roads and buildings so pedestrians do not have to cross a street once they are out of their vehicle. This is the safest orientation for surface parking possible.
Out of approximately 4,000 students and 500 faculty/staff, there are about 3,500 permits issued annually for 2,435 parking spaces.