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Campus Master Plan and Parking Transit Survey

October 22, 2018

To the UW community:

One of the most frequent pieces of feedback I receive on the University of Wyoming has to do with the beauty of our campus. In fact, over Homecoming weekend, I spoke with numerous alumni who had not been on campus for decades. They were struck by the improvements made to campus, and the careful architectural and landscaping care taken to give the campus a unified beauty that is closely tied to the natural resources of our state. “You have a beautiful campus” is a frequent comment.

Developing such a campus has taken many years and is not coincidental. In fact, it only comes with careful planning and attention to detail. I thank many who cared about and worked toward the campus we appreciate today. Now, we must be vigilant to continue this good work.

Over the last year, we have begun the earliest stages of a master planning process for the University of Wyoming. The initial stage, completed in 2018, focused on student housing, which led to a robust discussion on residential hall improvements over the summer months. In November, a legislatively appointed task force will submit its recommendations to the Legislature outlining its recommendations for student housing at UW. Using the task force recommendations as a basis, planning will continue over the next several months to develop a thorough and complete residential housing plan. Clearly, we have launched efforts to improve student housing.

But we are not done. 

In November, we will receive proposals from planning professionals to work with us to update our comprehensive campus master plan for future physical development. The last master plan was completed in 2009, 10 years ago. It is time to update the master plan, incorporating our work on housing, the strong STEM construction that has occurred along Lewis Street, athletic complex improvements and the Gateway -- and then look to the future to align with our university strategic plan, Breaking Through. You will hear more about the selection of a firm to lead our master planning efforts in early 2019.

As we worked on the housing plan, the topic of parking and transit (bus) services surfaced. If we take out parking, will we replace it? How much parking do we need, and where should it be located? These and many other questions were frequently raised. To help us with these and many other questions, we also engaged in a study aimed at developing an updated 10-year parking and transportation plan for campus. This study coincides nicely with the housing and campus master planning activities, and each will depend upon and draw from the other. 

As part of the parking study, a parking and transportation survey will be sent later this week to all current students, faculty, staff and affiliates. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and will close at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. 

The survey will collect information about the current parking and travel patterns of the university community, and gather feedback about other important parking- and transportation-related issues. The survey will also ask respondents to weigh in on several environmentally friendly transportation alternatives such as walking, bicycling and car sharing. 

The Division of Finance and Administration initiated the study, which is funded through a generous planning grant from WYDOT. The project has received significant guidance from a steering committee with representatives of Transit and Parking Services, Residence Life and Dining Services, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, ASUW, Real Estate Operations, University Police, Auxiliary Services and the City of Laramie. 

The steering committee selected Walker Consultants and Olsson Associates, two national firms with a regional presence, from a number of vendors to conduct the study. As leaders in their fields, the consultants’ areas of expertise include the higher education market, transportation demand management, multimodal transportation, and parking operations, finances and planning. The study will include analysis of parking supply and demand for current and future conditions, the current transit system and route structure, and bicycle and pedestrian mobility and infrastructure. 

Although the survey will be emailed this week, the study officially began in September when Walker/Olsson visited campus to perform on-site data collection and observation of campus parking and transit habits. During their visit, the consultants met with numerous stakeholder groups to obtain their views on the university’s current parking and transit programs and to gather input about the vision for parking and transportation in the future. A listening session for the Laramie community is being planned for early November. 

Using the data and stakeholder input gathered, conclusions drawn and recommendations developed, Walker/Olsson will draft an interim report and will return to campus to present its findings and obtain additional input from pertinent groups in February 2019. The report is scheduled to be completed in spring 2019. 

The Parking and Transportation Plan will provide the university with a roadmap for the years to come and will be utilized in the development of a more comprehensive upcoming campus master plan. 

Thank you in advance for your support and participation in the survey. If you have any questions regarding this study, please feel free to contact either Carolyn Smith ( or Paul Kunkel ( 

And please engage as we spend the next year in deep planning so we continue development of a physically beautiful campus that offers modern and convenient amenities. 


Laurie Nichols, President 



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