Committee approves reduced student parking

    The Transportation Policy Committee has approved a proposal to replace approximately 300 student parking spaces with additional spots for staff and faculty over the winter quarter, according to TPC committee chair Daniel Arovas.

    The plan adds an additional 146 “A” spaces and 151 “B” spaces on campus, according to Director of Transportation and Parking Services Gregory Snee. The proposal was made to serve the needs of growing staff and faculty, a population that has increased due to the opening of new buildings, Snee said.

    “In the Warren College area, the parking system is currently at 100 percent occupancy in both our “A” faculty and “B” staff spaces, at peak usage,” he stated in an e-mail. “This proposed reallocation will provide some current parking relief in this area, and will provide for limited expansion to meet the needs of faculty and staff when buildings open early next year.”

    Earl Warren College students will be most heavily affected by the changes, according to Arovas. The committee’s proposal eliminates all student parking spaces for lots closest to Warren college: Lot P502 will lose its 73 “S” spaces, while P510 will lose its 85 student spaces.

    The committee’s proposal does little to take student interests into account, said A.S. representative to the committee Josh Martino.

    “Warren College, specifically, already has enough parking issues, as nearly 350 parking passes were issued to Warren residents this year and as it stands, less than 200 [“S” spots] are within close proximity to the college,” he said. “Once the reallocation occurs, there will be almost no “S” spots for Warren residents to park in, and they will be forced to park somewhere else on campus. I understand the growth of faculty and staff due to the buildings being completed next year. However, I feel that, generally speaking, faculty and staff should have to use shuttles just like many other commuters at UCSD.”

    While Arovas admitted students will feel the brunt of the proposal, he said that professors should be a high priority in parking changes.

    “The parking calculus works by assuming, if a student is late to class because of a parking situation, it inconveniences that student,” he said. “However, if a professor is late because of a bad parking situation, it inconveniences 200-some students. We have to make sure our professors have a place to park.”

    To offset the projected loss of student parking spaces, UCSD constructed 572 new “S” spaces on East campus, Snee said. The committee expects that the proposal will force resident students to park in North campus lots, moving commuter students toward East campus parking lots, according to Arovas.

    Transportation and Parking Services will be adding additional shuttle capacity on East campus routes to address the increased usage of parking lots this winter, Snee said.

    The committee also added two campus-loop shuttles, which will run on the weekends from 9 a.m. to midnight in one direction around campus, according to Martino. These extra shuttles will reduce wait times at stops to approximately 10 minutes.

    “These shuttles will serve the students who store their cars in other parking spots, such as Gilman Structure or North parking, all week, and move them on weekends,” Martino said. “These shuttles will also serve any student who wishes to use it just to get around campus on the weekends.”

    The current parking situation will be alleviated by the completion of several parking structures on campus, according to Arovas. Currently, a parking structure located at the northwest corner of Hopkins Drive and Voight Drive is scheduled to be completed in December 2006. Upon its completion, roughly 1,420 new spots will be created to serve students, staff and faculty.

    In addition, a plan to build another structure near Revelle College, or closer to the center of campus, is in development, Martino said.

    “The recommendation as to where that structure should be built will be made during a future meeting,” he said. “That structure should hold roughly 2,100 spaces, and is projected to be completed around September 2008.”

    The committee also plans to discuss improvements in the campus’ CityShuttle and San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System bus services offered to UCSD, which hopefully will ease the impacted campus parking, according to student college council TPC representative and Warren Freshman Senator Matt Herrick.

    “Not only do we need a more extensive shuttle system, but a City of San Diego transit system, as well,” Herrick said. “We’re really displeased with it because it’s not efficient, not on time and ends at inconvenient times as well. We hope to renegotiate the bus system so that students will have an easier time on campus.”

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