New parking regs anger employees

Posted Sept. 28, 2007

Andres Rivera
Web Editor

Starting Monday faculty and staff wanting to park on Campus will need to sign up for a monthly deduction from their paychecks or risk being ticketed.

Parking fees – the equivalent of $20 a month – for faculty and staff are part of the new parking policy passed over the summer.

Students, faculty and staff returned to school this month to find a temporary parking lot, where tennis courts used to be, and a lengthy set of regulations to become familiar with.

“It’s difficult to justify paying $240 (annually) when (parking) is not guaranteed,” said Sharon K. Davis, president of the faculty senate and professor of sociology.

“I’m not sure I’m getting anything and other people are in the same situation. Would you cavalierly pay the $240?” Davis said.

While the University will now charge employees for the formerly free parking permits, a space in one of the University lots is still not guaranteed.

The hundred-or-so new spaces created by paving over the tennis courts will offset the spaces lost to campus center construction. And all-day street parking on many streets surrounding the University will no longer be an option.

In collaboration with the City of La Verne, parking on Third Street between B and C streets, and on D Street between First and Second streets, which had been unrestricted, will be starting Monday limited to three-hour parking.

The parking lots near the Oaks dormitories will be restricted to Oaks residents only, though in return these residents will not be able to use other ULV parking spaces.

There will also be unrestricted parking on Bonita Ave. between C and E streets on both sides of the street, between C and B streets on the south side of the street, on C street between Bonita and Third Street, and in the Bookstore parking lot.

Students who park in the University restricted parking areas will also be required to purchase parking permits through the Student Accounts office at $12 per semester or $20 for the year.

The Human Resources office is handling staff and faculty permits.

“Our situation is that we don’t have much land,” Phil Hawkey, executive vice president, said. “Parking is precious…there should be a price associated with it.”

The University parking committee consisting of staff, faculty, students and city residents, requested that some of the unrestricted parking spaces near the University be converted to three-hour parking said Eric Scherer, senior planner for the city.

“They were close to administrative offices. It would allow faculty not to participate (in the parking permit system),” Scherer said.

On Sept. 17, the Faculty Salary Committee formally requested that the University reverse the pay requirement in its policy. The committee said that it be a financial strain on ULV employees.

It’s a complicated issue, Davis said.

The fees can be seen as a regressive tax because it is a flat fee, so that the lowest-paid employees will have to pay the same as the higher-paid employees, even though it represents a larger percentage of their overall income, the committee’s statement said.

The fees will drive the faculty and staff into neighborhoods instead of paying the fee, the statement said.

Scherer said that the impact of the new restrictions would be assessed in six months to see if the spaces should be reverted to unrestricted parking or modified in another way.

“The city has a right to remove the restriction or change the restrictions,” Scherer said.

The money raised from the selling of parking permits is used for incentives and subsidies on transportation alternatives like vanpooling, carpooling, mass transit, walking and cycling, Hawkey said.

The amount ranges from $1 a day for using carpooling to receiving free parking permits for those who use hybrids, scooters, or motorcycles.

Aside from the current changes to parking in the University area, plans are being made in the Master Plan to alleviate parking congestion.

A parking structure is planned for the current site of the baseball field. A date has not been set for construction of this parking structure, however.

“Hopefully two years from today, the baseball field will be actively under construction,” Hawkey said.

Andres Rivera can be reached at arivera3@ulv.edu.

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