By: Bob Browand
After last week’s post about the services we provide for the campus community, it came to my attention that it’s very common for my team and me to receive questions and feedback about areas we unfortunately do not oversee.
We, like every department on campus, must work closely with other entities to provide our best possible service to our students, faculty and staff. It’s understandable that since our operations frequently overlap the campus community might confuse who’s responsible for what.
So, in an effort to help students, faculty and staff get the answers and results they need as soon as possible, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of the most common items we get mistaken for handling, as well as contact information for the department, organization or group that can help them.
Read on to learn more.
Traffic lights around campus - All traffic lights in and around campus are managed by the City of Houston. Traffic lights near the METRORail are set to METRO's safety standards. The City of Houston has a 311 Help and Information line, as well as a website, where citizens can request non-emergency services, such as light-timing studies.
You can reach them by dialing 311, e-mailing them at email@example.com, or submitting a service request through their website at www.houstontx.gov/311/. If they get enough requests, they will come out and do a timing study on the traffic signal.
Parking lot safety – Frequently when we discuss parking lots across campus, especially the further outlying economy lots, the question about vehicle and personal safety arises. UHDPS is the main point of contact for all safety and security concerns on campus, although they do work with us to secure our lots and facilities.
If you have a specific, non-emergency safety or security concern, it’s best to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For emergency situations, call dispatch at 713-743-3333 or 9-1-1.
Parking lot and street closures due to events – Often times throughout the year, certain lots and/or streets around campus may go offline as a result of an on-campus event. While we help coordinate these closings and advise on logistics and planning, the actual closure is not our call. The responsible party actually varies depending on the event, but some of the frequent ones we have are listed below along with their contact information in case you have any questions.
- Frontier Fiesta - Event Chair: ffchair@Central.UH.EDU Vice chair: ffvice@Central.UH.EDU
- Commencement - Special events office: 713-743-8160
- UH Athletic events - Athletics office: 713-743-9370
- March of Dimes - Office of Governmental and Community Relations: 713-743-6106
Parking lot closures due to new construction – There’s no secret the University is currently booming. With that growth comes new students, new programs and undoubtedly new buildings, such as the Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering Building; however, the University only has so much land so unfortunately sometimes those new buildings mean the loss of parking lots. We do not decide the placement of new buildings on campus. That is left up to a team of representatives from across campus. The best point of contact for concerns like these is the campus planning committee.
Meters on Holman – Unlike the luke meters you find across campus near places like Calhoun lofts, Cougar Village I and II and other locations across campus, the meters on Holman, near the Stadium Parking Garage are not controlled by Parking and Transportation Services. Those are City of Houston meters.
To ensure that any issues or concerns you have with these machines are handled quickly, you should call 713-837-0311 or visit www.houston311.org.
For concerns with our meters, it’s best to contact email@example.com or 832-842-1097.
METRO – it’s not out of the ordinary for my team and me to receive feedback about the METRORail or the bus routes across the city. Although we work closely with METRO to provide special offers to our faculty, staff and students like student discount Q Fare cards or ride subsidies, we do not have any control over the specific routes that come to and from campus.
If you have concerns or feedback about the current METRO system, it’s best to contact them through their customer care line at 713-635-4000.
Electronic traffic signs – Although we help with the placement of electronic traffic signs during campus events, the message communicated comes from whatever entity is coordinating the event. For instance, if it’s about a football game, UH Athletics and UH Sports and Entertainment most likely developed the verbiage. If it’s about commencement, the message probably originated out of the Office of Special events.
As I mentioned above, these are just some of the common misconceptions about parking and transportation’s services and responsibilities; however, it’s important to remember we are still here as a resource if you are unsure of whom to contact for specific concerns. If we don’t have the answers you need, we’ll do everything we can to point you in the right direction.published: Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016