Columnist sees new parking plan as a pain rather than improvement

Ethan Swanson

Ethan Swanson

Reading through the proposed parking plan, I couldn’t help but think that it seemed like a bad deal. The proposed plan will take all the various lots that are currently open to commuters and make them into reserved lots that will not be oversold. This will allow people to always know where to park and reduce the traffic through the core of campus that is associated with people “hunting” for spots. This will also help SDSU move closer to its goal of being a walking campus. So now I’ll know where to park and not have to be as careful when crossing campus roads. Hmm.

Let’s look at the money. For those of you who want to park remote, your costs will go from $25 to $72. Nine-month commuter students, your costs will go from $72 to $108 and you will always have a spot, though probably not a good one. For those who would like a good parking spot, your cost will go from $72 to $144. So is anybody not looking at a rather sizeable increase? Well, only if you are a paid employee of SDSU. Then you don’t have to fret about using your salary to get a $240 reserved parking spot. You can just buy early and pay $144 for a reserved lot. So from a money standpoint, those who pay to be here will have to spend a lot more while those who are paid to be here will spend less.

Flexibility-wise, things don’t look much better. I and many other students have classes all over campus. Twice a week I have a 9 a.m. class in Wenona and a 10 a.m. class at the PAC. SDSU would need to become a running campus for me to make it on time if I was confined to one lot. In addition, I have classes in Intramural, Crothers, and NFA along with working in the Union and Harding Hall. I kind of like some flexibility in parking, even if it means I don’t always get a convenient spot. The new system’s only guarantee is that I won’t have a convenient spot.

A walking-friendly campus. That sounds nice doesn’t it? Except for the 3-5 months of the school year when there’s snow and ice everywhere. Campus certainly wasn’t walking-friendly last week when there were multiple broken bones and ambulances. The nice weather months you may remember will likely bring even more bicycles as people are left unable to even have the possibility of parking near their class location. These bicycles will also have more walkers to dodge. A walking-friendly campus also sounds more environmentally friendly. But less efficient parking could ultimately mean more asphalt, which isn’t so environmentally friendly.

In summary, look for your parking prices to go up anywhere from 50-150% percent (apparently they’re trying to show BOR how it’s done). You will have less flexibility, and you will either be watching out for more bicycles or trying to dodge more pedestrians while on your bike. You will get to enjoy more of the beautiful winter weather. If this doesn’t sound good to you, you could consider voicing your opinion, but administration has already decided that, “There will be a public relations problem at first?.It will take a while for people to adjust.” So there you go. They plan on bracing themselves to your insignificant whining until you realize the futility of it.

Personally, I’m nicely adjusted to the way it is now. But if they must change, could they at least look at other options such as only making a few of the core lots reserved? Opening the road through campus that currently dead-ends could help a lot also. Possibly they could make lots open game on weekends and after, say, 3 p.m.

One final question: given the rise of proposed parking costs, where is that money going to go? I can only hope it will be spent on keeping the sidewalks clean and walkable in the winter.

For further information, check out the Facebook group ‘SDSU students against new parking’.