Parking passes to increase $9 per semester, $18 a year

By PAT BOWDEN Reporter

As part of a required maintenance and renewal guideline to better sustain roads and infrastructure through continuous improvement set by the Board of Regents, all parking passes will increase by nine dollars per semester starting Fall of 2015 – an overall increase of roughly $20 a year per pass.

This increase, requested by the Board of Regents, would carry two percent of all parking pass fees toward fixing and maintaining parking lots and roads throughout campus. However, the fee wasn’t as steep when the plan was originally set in place two years ago.

“Based on that evaluation [for fee increases], we came back to the Board and had a plan to have three years of nine dollars a year to get us caught up, which got approved,” said Director of Business Operations and Bookstore Derek Peterson. “We got instituted year one, and last year with the freeze [on tuition and all fees] we weren’t allowed to take that [next] increase.”

The extra money is planned on going toward crack and chip seals throughout the parking lots, while in the past the money went toward other maintenance costs such as the partial resurfacing of 16th Avenue.

“If it’s necessary to maintain the parking lots, it’s something we need to strive for, just like maintaining buildings there are maintenance costs to [maintaining] a parking lot,” said President of Students’ Association Caleb Finck. “The effects will be felt, but I know that there was a number of initiatives making sure we have good surfaces on the parking lots.”

And while some lots may need more attention than others, some students are contrastingly voicing their concerns about the quality of the lots that their vehicles stay in.

“Last year I got three flat tires from that [South East] lot from broken glass,” sophomore early childhood education major Maddy Tegethoff said. “[The blocked off SE lot entrances also] make the back roads a lot busier.”

A commuter or resident pass starting next semester would be priced at $155, which is a reasonable price once broken down, according to Peterson.

“I think all students know they need to have a permit, and once you start breaking it down you’re paying about 85 cents a day,” Peterson said. “The pay lot [on the other hand] continues to grow in use, we’re in the third year and students and community members have adapted to that quick in and out.”

While some students may not even notice the increase in passes, others may notice the increase not as subtlety. 

“It’s tough to say, my initial reaction is that students will see the increase and they might be mad, but some might say nine dollars isn’t a lot, but when you’re looking at small fees across the board, it adds up for students,” Finck said.

Parking Services is also addressing murmuring concerns about the commuter lots, such as not enough spots being available to commuters.

We’re going to start on the educational aspect of where the parking spaces are [in the commuter lots],” Peterson said. “We’re looking at some technology to allow real time parking availability by lot.”

The technology to improve parking is a proposed smart-phone app that would allow students to see real time open parking spots in the commuter lots. According to Peterson, the app would need to go through experimental stages first and is projected to launch at the start of 2016.

“I think that would be nice in the southeast lot, because you have no idea what’s open,” Tegethoff said. “[And commuters] wouldn’t waste time going in a lot that’s completely full.”

According to Finck, the commuter lots serve the commuter population just fine – it’s just a matter of convenience that has seemingly caused a problem.

“I don’t know if there’s necessarily a shortage of spots, but maybe a shortage of where they would like it all the time, which is where the frustration is,” Finck said. “If you look at the commuter lots as a whole, it works out … students are always [just] looking for the close lot. If you plan out going to the one that doesn’t usually fill up, there are usually parking spaces available.”

Finck also believes that the pay lot in front of the Student Union has begun to solve the issue of convenient parking – not only with commuting students, but also for visitors to SDSU, as well.

“There are a lot of people that find frustration in the parking systems; I think the barrier that the parking lots put between us and the community coming onto campus. If folks are coming on to campus for anything on campus, parking becomes a little bit difficult,” Fink said.

With concerns currently facing parking services, they hope that some of the decisions made this semester will better impact the complex issues in the coming months.

“The pay lot is a step in the right direction, and it’s a low cost option that allows us to keep that functioning,” Finck said.