Is there any more room?

Toby Uecker

Toby Uecker

A question and answer session focused on SDSU parking and traffic Monday showed once more that students are concerned about the amount of space on campus for their automobiles.

The event, sponsored by the Students’ Association Senate, brought campus administrators and members of the campus parking and traffic committee to the Market in the student union to answer questions in an open forum with SDSU students.

Executive Vice President for Administration Mike Reger admitted up-front that SDSU has issues to work out with its parking system.

“There is going to be a long-term problem in terms of parking close to the buildings,” he said.

He added, however, that there is currently room overall for all the students that want to park on campus.

“Do we have a parking problem in terms of numbers? No,” he told the audience.

In terms of the future, Physical Plant Director Dean Kattleman assured students that the university will adapt to increasing parking needs.

“We’ll look at adding more spots as it’s needed,” he said.

Reger cited plans to take more parking areas to the outer edges of campus, especially to the north.

He added that the parking and traffic committee had looked into other options, including constructing a parking ramp but that such options were expensive.

“One thing you have to consider is cost … when determining what to do with current lots,” he told students. “The parking and traffic money goes fast.”

A parking ramp, he said, would cost an average of $10,000 per parking slot.

The university makes about $400,000 from decal sales and $175,000 from tickets each year. Of that $575,000, about $100,000 goes back to the University Police Department. On average, another $200,000 is spent on snow removal. Much of the remaining funds go to the physical plant for maintenance.

Traffic committee members have also discussed prohibiting some students from having cars parked on campus. That plan is used at many urban campuses, but the committee dismissed it as a poor idea for SDSU.

“If we did that at Brookings, what we’d do is push a bunch of cars out onto the streets of Brookings,” Reger said.

He added that the university will keep selling decals to all the students that want them, even if spaces are not distributed the way students would prefer.

University Police Chief Tim Heaton addressed student concerns about ticketing policies, especially multiple tickets for single violations. He told students he occasioinally waives tickets in instances of minor violations ticketed multiple times.

“It just depends on what the violation is,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of people out there writing tickets.”