Virginia Tech’s plans for growth, outlined in its comprehensive master plan, are driving changes to on-campus student parking this fall.

The new reduced rate lot and new special permits for parking in the Perry Street area are among some of the changes that will go into effect on Aug. 15.  They come as Virginia Tech makes plans to grow its Blacksburg campus, which includes constructing new buildings in existing parking lots on Perry Street and creating a pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment.

Commuter/graduate student permits go on sale on Aug. 1.

Students who park in Perry Street lots and in the parking garage now are required to have a new permit specific to this area, which is $389 a year. There are more than 1,800 student spaces in the Perry Street area, said Jeri Baker, director of parking and transportation at Virginia Tech.

“With this plan, the only students that will be vying for parking in the area will be those that have permits,” Baker said. “This should eliminate the need to drive around and around the area to find a space and will make parking in this area less congested for everyone.”

There will be no changes to faculty and staff parking in the Perry Street area.

Also, Virginia Tech has designated a student parking lot in the area between the Corporate Research Center and the expansion of the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport as a remote lot for students to park for $30 a year. A Blacksburg Transit bus will visit the lot every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. to shuttle people to campus.  

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s commuter/graduate student parking permits are available for all other designated areas of campus. The price remains the same as last year, at $289 annually.

Additionally, Blacksburg Transit will provide continuous week day service nine times an hour from the university’s Duck Pond Lot to various areas on campus.

The need to alter parking on Perry Street comes as Virginia Tech prepares to reconfigure this popular thoroughfare to carry pedestrian and bus traffic. Next summer, construction will begin on a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Multi-Modal Transit Facility on Perry Street, adjacent to the existing parking garage. The facility will be a campus transit station, serving as a hub for bus traffic and housing a locked bike storage area, indoor transit rider waiting area, meeting and office space, and more.

Plans for future academic building construction along Perry Street also led to this year’s permit changes, Baker said.

Baker began meeting with Virginia Tech student and graduate student government representatives a year ago to discuss the proposed parking changes and to gather feedback. She also met with the university Board of Visitors and faculty and staff groups.

Signs to announce the Aug. 15 deadline for Perry Street parking went up last week.

“We are really trying to get as much information out as possible,” Baker said.

Written by Jenny Kincaid Boone