UC San Diego Transportation Services will revoke the proposed $5/day weekend flat-rate for on-campus parking, and plans to work with students and the campus community to restructure the weekend parking fee system.
On June 28, the Transportation Department released a statement declaring that the department will not go through with the proposed $5/day flat-rate. “Students made it overwhelmingly clear that the flat $5 parking rate for weekends does not suit their needs,” the statement reads. “Many students expressed that they spend shorter periods of time on campus over the weekend, and that a flat all‐day rate isn’t responsive to how they use the parking facilities.”
The proposal was placed in conjunction with a Virtual Town Hall that was open on the Transportation page on May 28 through June 11, 2019. It received 820 comments, 37 of which were in support of the $5/day weekend flat-rate rates, while 783 expressed opposition to this proposal.
The weekend proposal was an attempt to pay for the construction of new on-campus parking spots.
“As background, we have heard from the campus community — including students — that we need to build more parking. In response, we opened more than 1,700 new parking stalls last year, another 1,700 are under construction today and with another 3,500 additional parking spaces planned,” the Transportation statement read. “Revenue from weekend parking would help cover some of the costs associated with much‐needed new parking facilities. It would also ensure that those who park on campus during the week don’t see parking fees increase any more than necessary. Students, faculty, and staff who already purchase parking passes would not be required to pay any extra on the weekends.”
Many students took action to revoke this proposal after expressing opposition in the Virtual Town Hall.
On June 23, UCSD College Democrats President Jacob Faust opened a petition on change.org to repeal the parking proposal.
“For a University that makes $4.7 Billion in revenue per year, it is absurd to begin charging students for weekend parking and also prohibit Sophomores from purchasing parking passes,” the petition details read.
The petition received 10,080 signatures in six days.
The description also demanded that Associated Students “stand up for students and oppose these policies as well.”
On June 24, Associated Students President Eleanor Grudin released a statement to the UCSD Campus and Community.
“Associated Students has been following your comments on the meme page, reading your comments, looking at the comments on the petition, and we hear you,” Grudin said in the letter. “We are working with the Department of Transportation very closely and as your student representatives, we are pushing for a solution to this issue. The Department has already met with the STAC Chair, the Associated Vice President of Transportation and Transformation, and myself and will continue working with us to have a more concrete statement or decision prepared by the end of the week.”
San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy also released a statement on June 25 regarding the $5/day flat-rate proposal in support of the UCSD College Democrats petition.
“The rising costs of college, housing, and transportation continue to be a struggle and an affordability challenge to those who need it the most. There must be a different approach to handling those costs rather than finding ways to increase funding for projects on the backs of those who need it the most,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said in the statement. “The Democratic Party stands with our UCSD College Democrats, and all those affected by these rate changes. Further, our Party supports College Democratic leaders at UCSD, SDSU, CSUSM, PLNU, and Mesa College in their fight to prevent unfair and unaffordable tuition and rate hikes across San Diego County.”
The Transportation Department is currently working on a set of proposals to replace the $5/day flat-rate fee.
“Once we have created an updated proposal — which takes into account the student input we have received — we will ensure that information about the new proposal and opportunities to provide additional feedback are communicated to students,” the statement reads.
The feedback will include a Virtual Town Hall follow-up. Transportation Department invites students to subscribe to Virtual Town Hall updates. The Fall 2020 parking fee structure has not been announced yet, but the UCSD Guardian will continue to follow up with updates.
Photo courtesy of Waltry Design.