Freshmen to retain parking next year

    The Transportation and Parking Committee has decided to defer any decision to restrict freshman parking until Fall 2005. Parking will remain available to freshmen for the 2004-05 academic year.

    “”Last year we were looking at a big parking crunch,”” TPC faculty chair Daniel Arovas said. “”We decided not to restrict freshman parking outright and [instead] formed a subcommittee that met over the summer.””

    The work group met over the summer to discuss and recommend ways the university could implement limiting freshman resident parking for Fall 2004 and reported on the recommendations at the first TPC meeting on Jan. 27.

    “”During the summer, it became apparent that this new policy might be able to be delayed another year due to delayed construction schedule of academic and housing buildings that were planned to displace surface parking and due to reduced enrollment projections,”” said Greg Snee, director of Transportation and Parking Services.

    A new energy utilities plant, the North Campus housing project and Rady School of Management are not expected to break ground until at least June 2005, according to Snee.

    “”Originally, we thought this would come earlier,”” he said.

    A decrease in incoming freshman enrollment should help alleviate some of the parking crunch, according to Arovas. The University of California saw its first systemwide applicant drop since 1993 this year.

    Several other reasons freshmen parking limitations were not decided upon for Fall 2004 includes a 91 percent increase in ridership of Cityshuttle and a 15 percent decrease in the sale of annual ëS’ parking permits from 2002-03, according to Arovas.

    The Cityshuttle expanded this year to include larger buses and a route to University Towne Center. Snee said that the increase in ridership indicates the possibility that shuttle services will continue to expand.

    The restriction of freshman parking and the expansion of Cityshuttle were some of many options considered to accommodate changes in parking on campus if the construction projects were not delayed, according to Arovas.

    “”There were other options to spend money on increasing surface lots in the East Campus area, which we did,”” Arovas said.

    Another alternative included eliminating the bike path, which the TPC decided against. In order to compensate for the parking lots that will eventually be displaced by the construction projects, the TPC also plans to build new parking structures, one on Voight Drive and Hopkins Drive and the other on the Revelle College campus.

    Snee said the Hopkins Parking Structure would be “”expensive”” to construct, costing $2.9 million for 1,400 spaces.

    “”That is why parking permits are expensive,”” he said. “”We’re self-supporting, funded from parking permit money and citation revenue.””

    Campus Planning has approved of the seven-level Hopkins Parking Structure and the TPC.

    If approved by the UC Regents, construction on the Hopkins Parking Structure is scheduled to begin in January 2005, with the opening slated for August 2006.

    Many current freshmen agree with the decision to keep freshman parking for fall 2005.

    “”They better keep freshmen parking,”” Thurgood Marshall College freshman Danh Ho said. “”It’s a real inconvenience ó where would the freshmen go?””

    Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman Vanessa Real agreed.

    “”I wouldn’t want to come to the school if they had eliminated [freshman parking], because they’re forcing us to be antisocial and stay on campus,”” Real said. “”UCSD isn’t that social. Everything’s far.””

    TPC will revisit the freshman parking issue during spring quarter 2004 to discuss plans for 2005.

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