Gates close on all-class parking

Hannah Baker

A project originally planned for completion at the beginning of last semester is now up-and-running. The pay lot east of The Union is currently in operation and is free of charge until Jan. 15.

Derek Peterson, director of the University Bookstore, said the week of free parking will hopefully help debug the system and fix any potential problems before parking charges begin.

The rates will be $2 for the first hour, $1 for any following hour or $8 a day to park in one of the available 143 spots. These rates will apply from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be paid with a credit card or Hobo Dough.

Parking in the lot will not always come at a price. Between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m., Monday through Friday, the lot will be free of charge. During this timeframe the automated gates will remain down to ensure proper car count for the lot. Drivers will go through the motions of paying for a spot, but when they leave the fee will read zero dollars.

Any vehicle left in the lot from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. will be ticketed for overtime parking, which is Parking Violation 4.4.7, and towed immediately at the owner’s expense. All vehicles towed from the pay lot will be placed in the Remote Lot east of the Performing Arts Center. On weekends the gates will be raised and parking in the lot will be free anytime.

Peterson said there were “a lot of little things” that delayed the project.

Along with shifts in scheduling, the last delay was because when the parking gates and stations were installed training on how to control teh system was needed.

Peterson said this was unavailable until last December, pushing the start date back further.

This $125,000 project will be short-lived, however.

When construction for The Union dining addition and another new residence hall adjacent to the lot take place, the gates and other hardware will have to be moved to make way for a staging area during construction, said Dean Kattelmann, assistant vice president for Facilities and Services.

Assistant Union Director Keith Skogstad said the hardware “won’t be lost forever” and the revised parking lot will continue as a pay lot once construction is complete. The equipment will just need to be reinstalled.

“They’ll definitely be reused once construction is over,” he said.

Kattelmann said that because the equipment is in place, but will be removed during construction and replaced later, SDSU is basically paying for installation of the project twice. He said installation costs of the project are not extensive and most of the $125,000 price tag came from the computer systems to run the parking gates.

“There was discussion about holding the installation, but in the end it was decided to go ahead,” said Kattelmann. “There is always a difference of opinions on things like this.”