With just one parking space for every five people, on a campus of roughly 65,000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the lowest parking ratios of any major university in the country.
To reduce the number of cars on campus, parking permits are off-limits to students, who are instead encouraged to walk, bike or take the bus.
Because visitors to the 936-acre campus often have a hard time finding parking, the university’s latest master plan, nearing completion, recommends an additional 2,200 spaces over the next 20 to 40 years. But Gary A. Brown, the director of campus planning, is reluctant to add any spaces right away. When Brown looks into the future, he sees a campus even more reliant on ride-hailing services like Uber and car-sharing services like Zipcar, as well as the likely emergence of autonomous vehicles, trends that could substantially decrease parking demand.
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