Editorial: Strategies for keeping freshman parking

    The Transportation and Parking Commission wisely decided on Jan. 27 to retain freshman parking for 2004-05. The TPC deferred any final decision until fall 2005, so it has over a year to examine the issue. The TPC should explore alternatives other than simply deciding on full parking rights or altogether elimination.

    The freshman parking issue has gray areas and many possible solutions. The TPC should expand the term “”freshman parking”” to include all on-campus residents; the concern is not the age of the driver, but the parking space occupied by a car whose driver lives on campus. On-campus residents must have parking privileges, but the TCP should recommend restrictions in order to make convenient parking available for commuter students.

    Most students drive to campus every day, laboring to find a parking spot – usually on the outskirts of campus. Closer spots, such as the John Muir and Earl Warren College lots and Pangea and Gilman structures, are full of cars owned by on-campus residents who may not use them daily.

    To retain on-campus resident parking, the TCP needs to consider designating specific lots for those living on campus. These could be located on the edges of campus – like Regents Lot – freeing parking spaces closer to the center of UCSD for commuters. To accommodate on-campus residents whose cars are parked further away, the shuttle system should operate on the weekends, even if in limited form. As a last resort, a lottery system could assign parking permits to on-campus residents.

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