Newly developed parking plan needs work


Editorial Board

Issue: A new campus parking plan has been approved for the 2009-10 school year, featuring new parking tags and price increases.

Another year, another new parking plan.

A year ago, members of the administration announced a brand new parking system to alleviate congestion on SDSU’s campus. Roads were closed, parking tags were consolidated and the changes were accepted. Now, students and faculty will soon be subjected to another system-wide change in parking policy.

Under the current system, few of us ever have much of an issue finding a spot within walking distance of The Union. Most of the time, the actual Union lot is full, but areas like the HPER and Briggs Library offer options for commuters. Granted, life is simpler without classes in congested areas like Solberg Hall.

The new system, scheduled to begin at the end of this semester, will reallocate reserved parking for both students and faculty for $240 per 10-month spot, the same amount for an employee reserved spot during the 2009 school year. For those of us that want a commuter pass, the new 10-month decal costs $120, an increase of $40 from this year’s $80.

Dean Kattelmann, assistant vice president for facilities and services, said the fee increases would fund snow removal and the construction of new parking lots.

In the March 4 edition of The Collegian, Mike Reger, vice president for administration, reported about a dozen injuries from the previous week’s snowfall at a Students’ Association meeting on March 2. Snow removal should be a number one priority of a facilities department when that many people injure themselves because of snow and ice.

New parking lots are a necessity for a campus adding another residential hall in two years while planning on building more in the future. However, commuters would prefer not to have more parking lots built farther away, especially with the health concerns of frostbite or breaking a limb on sidewalks that haven’t been shoveled.

The ultimate goal for SDSU is a walking campus. It is something that President Chicoine and Kattelmann have agreed on, as part of the Master Plan drafted by Chicoine. With this new plan, available commuter parking is moving to the rim of campus. Where is the discussion of public transit? With parking fee increases, is there money dedicated to ensuring a viable busing system in Brookings?

SDSU will always have parking concerns. There will be congestion and bad drivers. Our hope is not something irrational like a flawless, free parking system. Paying for a parking spot is necessary to maintain our infrastructure. Our concern is based on a lack of information. If fees must increase to improve our parking and move forward to the 2020 Master Plan, fine. That’s understandable. We feel students want more communication and openness on how their money is being spent.

Stance: With the new plan, there are more questions than answers. The parking fee increase does not seem completely justified. If the goal is further infrastructure improvements or the development of a bus system, then we feel the new plan is justified.