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An upside to UMass Boston parking crunch

A portion of the UMass Boston campus underground garage.
Jonathan Wiggs /Globe Staff
A portion of the UMass Boston campus underground garage.

There might be an upside to UMass Boston’s massive parking shortage.

The campus, mired in construction that has sucked up most available parking, this year received the state’s highest award for eco-friendly commuting.

We are unsure whether the judges took into account the fact that buses, bicycles, and your own two feet are pretty much the only way to get to campus these days.

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The myriad construction projects on the Dorchester campus have forced most students, employees, and faculty to park in the lot at the Bayside Expo Center and take a shuttle bus to campus.

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Others take the MBTA to the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line and catch one of UMass’s free shuttles to campus.

Years ago UMass had a massive underground parking garage, but that was closed in 2006 because it is unsafe.

The campus is in the midst of building a new, eight-story parking garage with 1,400 spaces but that project was delayed while officials determined whether they had enough money to pay for it. It is now underway, according to campus officials.

The Pinnacle Award is sponsored by MassRIDES, MassCommute and MassDOT. There are three levels of awards and UMass Boston received the highest, because it provides shuttle services and showers for cyclists, according to an announcement on the UMass Boston website.

Laura Krantz can be reached at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.