Director of Physical and Community Planning Robert Clossin and Associate Director of Transportation Services Todd Berven announced that various construction projects around campus will result in the net addition of 5,000 parking spots by 2021.The pair made the announcement during the A.S. Council meeting last Wednesday, warning that ongoing construction projects have created a “perfect storm” that will negatively impact the number of parking spots in the short term.
According to Clossin and Berven, the widening of Gilman Drive, the addition of a new bridge across Interstate 5 and the renovation of Voigt Drive Bridge will contribute to the temporary loss of 457 parking spaces.
The construction, which began on Jan. 18, will ultimately connect Gilman Drive and Medical Center Drive and add an I-5 access ramp off of Voigt Drive, according to UCSD’s “On The Go” website. The projects are expected to be completed in Fall Quarter 2017.
Director of Transportation Services Charles Kindred spoke to the UCSD Guardian about the creation of temporary on-street parking that was introduced this past weekend to offset the loss of spaces.
“We are in the process of adding on-street parking in various areas around campus,” Kindred said. “This weekend, weather permitting, spaces will be added along Voigt Drive, between Earl Warren College and the Hopkins Parking Structure.”
Kindred added that temporary street parking will also be introduced on Expedition Way, Hopkins Drive and in the Research Park on the east campus, bringing the total number of temporary spots to 200.
In addition to new construction, Clossin and Berven announced to the A.S. Council that they are introducing a restriction on freshman parking permits next year and that permits will be oversold by 20 percent, meaning more permits will be in circulation than there are spots, since not all permit-holders will be on campus at the same time.
Eleanor Roosevelt College Student Council President Ellen Spicer felt that the policy of overselling permits was unfair to students who pay for a service but cannot find parking. However, Clossin and Bervin pointed out that students can park in off-campus lots and take the shuttle to school, as these lots are seldom occupied, such as lot P782.
This restriction coincides with the significant increase in student enrollment that will occur next year. However, the pair assured the council that, despite the loss of parking caused by construction, UCSD will have a net gain of 5,000 spaces by 2021 through numerous building projects.
Permanent parking additions that will be completed this spring include new lots on Gilman Drive, Osler Lane and in the Science Research Park. They will add a total of 299 new parking spaces to campus.
Kindred added that UCSD is attempting to drop the current A/B/S parking system in favor of an as-of-yet undecided alternative system.
“We are looking at transitioning away from the A/B/S system based on the many changes that will occur within the campus,” Kindred said. “There are many different types of programs that are being evaluated, such as lot-specific permits, proximity parking and more.”
In addition, Kindred mentioned that UCSD students may lose access to parking at Torrey Pines Gliderport in 2018.
“The campus has a temporary-use agreement with the California Coastal Commission which allows us to use [Gliderport] for parking for three years,” Kindred said. “After that time elapses, we can ask for an extension, but there are no guarantees that an extension would be granted.”
Thurgood Marshall College senior Trevor Lindner described the parking situation as a mess, even without the impact of construction.
“The parking situation is already horrible,” Lindner told the Guardian. “My principle investigator, who I work [on research] with, she can’t even find B spots. The only time you get a spot easily is at 8 a.m. and if you don’t have class till 11 or 12, coming at eight is just painful.”
Students are encouraged to go to OnTheGo.ucsd.edu to learn more about construction projects and future impacts to parking.