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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Campus

UH changes parking regulation for game days


UH football wasn’t the only team to change its strategy for the Saturday night game against Grambling State University. The Office of Sports and Entertainment at UH Athletics unveiled a new scheme to better tackle game day traffic.

Events Service Director Barbara Wiggins and her staff, who are responsible for coordinating UH Athletics event parking, met to discuss solutions that will alleviate congestion at major TDECU Stadium street intersections.

The meetings were scheduled in response to the TDECU Stadium opening that welcomed the largest on-campus crowd on record and left many visitors frustrated, including alumnus Michael Bradburn, who was trapped in the stadium garage for more than an hour.

“Parking before the game was not much of a problem … leaving was a mess,” Bradburn said. “We could not tell what the holdup was, except that there was no one controlling traffic coming out of the garage at first.”

Bradburn and his companions returned to their vehicle around 10:30 p.m. and didn’t advance more than 10 feet until midnight. He vented his frustration to the UH Houston Football Facebook fan page in a private message.

“What happened Friday night with the traffic management is inexcusable and must be corrected prior to (the Grambling State) game,” said a responding message from the page as confirmed by Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Marketing and Communications David Bassity.

Parking and Transportation Services was also a target for visitor complaints. However, the department has only an advisory role in traffic and parking management for events sponsored by UH Athletics.

“I’m sure no matter what we do, parking will get the brunt of the blame — that’s just the nature of our business,” said Parking and Transportation Director Robert Browand.

“I’m sure no matter what we do, parking will get the brunt of the blame — that’s just the nature of our business.”

— Parking and Transportation Director Robert Browand.

Wiggins said the law requires public streets like Cullen Boulevard and Scott to be directed by officers from the UH Department of Public Safety, while the private parking lots are monitored by the hundreds of part-time staff employed by the Sports and Entertainment office.

“We’ve worked very closely with (Parking and Transportation Services),” Wiggins said. “They’ll let us know if we’re missing something — maybe it’s placing more staff at this intersection, or paying more attention to some other area.”

Moving forward, Wiggins wants to encourage attendees to visit the UH Parking and Transportation website for directions and schedules for parking lot and garages. She said guests often skim over the details in these maps and overlook pertinent information.

At roughly 31,000 attendees, the Grambling State game had a lower attendance than the stadium opening, but Parking and Transportation Services has predicted high numbers during the October Football matches, according to its website.

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