Editorial

    Over the last year the Transportation Policy Committee has been deliberating whether to revoke parking privileges from on-campus residents. The Guardian finds that this supposed solution to the escalating parking problem should be avoided if at all possible.

    This plan would — at best — constitute a temporary and reactionary solution. However, UCSD needs a long-term answer to the continual overcrowding of our parking lots and structures. As Sixth College works its way onto campus next fall, and as the number of freshman and transfer admits continues to rise, it is obvious that the current parking facilities available to students — even if accentuated by a throng of “”S”” parking spaces that would be opened by a revocation of freshman parking privileges — likely won’t make up for any current deficiencies. Furthermore, removing resident parking on west campus seems to be a slippery slope, eventually leading to a removal of all student parking on west campus.

    At some point, UCSD will finally have to unload money, time and effort toward a viable, long-term solution to the parking problem. Quickly freeing up a few hundred “”S”” spots by revoking parking rights for on-campus residents is simply an attempt to delay that much-needed, long-term solution, and in a few years, those spots that would be made available by this policy will be filled, fought over and impossible to find. Acceptable and realistic solutions — which are currently in the works and should continue to be worked on by the appropriate parties — must decrease demand through alternative options such as improved mass transportation (how about that trolley stop?), increased numbers of carpool-only “”S”” spots, and expanded shuttle services.

    In addition, the plan to remove on-campus parking privileges would strip students of rights to which they should be entitled as attendees and residents of this university. Such a change would inevitably send a loud, clear message about students’ rights at UCSD to possible recruits, and any plan to trim the parking privileges of one class of students creates notable and inexplicable inequities based simply on academic class and age. This policy would thereby create an immeasurable difference in quality of life among on-campus and off-campus residents, and in turn, could hurt UCSD’s recruitment efforts.

    Another issue of concern regarding this proposition is the approval of the “”one-rate”” housing and dining plan, which will force all on-campus residents to purchase meal plans. The parking proposal, when considered in conjunction with one-rate, appears to be one more step toward stripping on-campus residents of freedoms and rights to which they are entitled.

    Finally, with “”improving campus life”” so high on the lists of goals of a multitude of A.S. Council candidates this election week, it would behoove the winners of this election to fight this policy and remain true to their campaign promises of fostering a sense of community at UCSD. Inevitably, an A.S. Council that allows on-campus resident parking privileges to be hacked away at by the administration would only inhibit any notion of unity and A.S. Council integrity at UCSD.

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