Parking strike postponed following new report

    A funding request for a student parking protest unveiled at the April 30 A.S. Council meeting was withdrawn following a favorable report from the Transportation Policy Committee. The planned May 14 protest has been postponed.

    John Muir College Sophomore senator Nam Bui, principal member of the All-Campus Parking Strike Force and author of the funding allocation request, said that the TPC’s decision not to restrict freshman parking in 2003-04 has caused the strike force to reevaluate the need for a student protest.

    “”It’s not our ploy to fight the administration and everything it stands for,”” Bui said. “”We wanted, as students, to have our voice heard.””

    The protest was originally proposed to take place on the morning of May 14 in Lot 412, near the Chancellor’s office, to demand “”a concrete compensation or plan to deal with the displacement”” of undergraduate “”S”” spots.

    According to Tom Chapman, the A.S. representative to the TPC, the decision to put the protest on hold came after the announcement that construction on the north campus housing project, which would have displaced 717 “”S”” parking spaces and necessitated restrictions on freshman parking next year, will not begin until the 2004-05 school year.

    “”It happened to work out to benefit the students most favorably because of the [north campus housing] delay,”” Bui said. “”Once the housing project was gone, that was half of our battle, right there.””

    In addition to the housing delay, the TPC has recommended the purchase of more shuttles, expansion of Cityshuttle routes, paving of all possible lots on east campus, re-striping of existing lots to increase capacity, and the creation of a work group to research equitable implementation of limitations on freshman parking in the future.

    “”Everything seemed to work out the way we wanted it to,”” Bui said. “”The paved lots, the increased shuttle system and the delay in campus housing worked in our favor.””

    In a May 6 letter to the A.S. Council and college councils, the Parking Strike Force conceded that “”it is not in the students’ best interest to continue with the demonstration in light of the new developments.””

    Although the protest will not take place as planned, the idea has not been completely abandoned by the strike force.

    “”We’re still going to be working behind the curtain,”” Bui said. “”We’re still going to be sending letters to the chancellor and seeing how far this will go.””

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