|Parking: pay more, get less|
|Posted Sept. 14, 2007|
With the recent demolition of the Old Gym and the closing of adjacent parking lots to make way for the new campus center, University administrators have had to revise parking plans for the entire school year.
Revised plans, unfortunately, have created more problems with the campus’ already “broken” parking program. Last spring students and employees frequently found themselves driving around for a half-hour looking for a parking spot. This fall things have gone from bad to worse.
In midst of the construction, the University has also decided that faculty and staff, who already compete with students for scarce parking spaces, must now pay for the privilege of parking on campus.
Starting Oct. 1, they will be forced to pay $240 a year for parking permits, with no guarantee of enough spaces to accommodate everyone.
It is a hassle to find parking and once you find a spot, you want to stay on campus and not move your car for risk of losing your spot before you are done for the day.
Where is the money going that is being generated from the increased parking fees?
Ostensibly, it is to provide funds for rideshare incentives to ease the parking crunch, but so far those incentives only include free parking for hybrid vehicles and carpool vehicles, which involves no cost to set up, and a new van pool service, which employees must pay into to participate.
There is some comfort that the tennis courts were torn down to create additional temporary parking spaces. However, this is offset by the impending implementation of three-hour parking limits for city-owned spaces on D Street and Third Street.
But what happens when construction of the University master plan really gets under way and even more parking spaces are swallowed up?
Not to mention that starting on Oct. 1 commuters will have to be on the lookout for tickets if they do happen to find parking in university restricted spaces and do not have their pricey passes visible to campus security or city police.
The University administration and the parking committee headed by Executive Vice President Phil Hawkey need to restructure to the current parking policy before it is too late.
Our concerns are for faculty and staff finances and morale, as well as for commuter students feeling alienated and finding themselves turning away from La Verne to attend school elsewhere.
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