A UCSB parking committee released several proposals to alleviate an increased demand for parking expected from the loss of 1,086 spots to several planned capital projects.
The Chancellor’s Special Advisory Committee on Parking proposed alternatives such as charging for night and weekend parking, eliminating day permits for residents living within two miles of campus, or requiring bike permits, at two recent public forums. Other options include increasing all permit rates, creating parking structures in Isla Vista, eliminating freshman parking, and other options that would primarily affect faculty.
UCSB’s plan for construction will increase the demand for parking alternatives as three of the current parking structures will close over the next three years. The California Nanosystems Institute, Student Resource Building and a new academic building will replace parking lots 10, 20 or 21, and 22 or 23 by 2005.
The committee as a whole has not declared a stance on any of the proposed options, and has listed both pros and cons to each on the UCSB website. Advisory Committee Chair Gene Lucas sees the next couple of weeks as a period for the committee to collect emails from the campus before they can start deliberating.
“We’re still discussing the possibility of fund raising, implications of alternative schedules, legal and union issues, just trying to understand student issues,” Lucas said
Lucas said he expects to have a full-day retreat before developing a set of draft recommendations by the end of February.
Chancellor Henry Yang established the committee last November to come up with solutions to parking problems. The committee meets on a weekly basis to discuss construction plans, permit fees and transportation alternatives.
“So many buildings are being planned and almost all of them are on surface parking lots,” Lucas said. “While we can build for a while, we can’t do that for very long.”
Associated Students President Brian Hampton, who serves on the committee, said that UCSB should offer more carpooling incentives or motivators to keep students from driving on campus. He said the first step to solving the parking problem is to increase regular monthly parking marginally, allotting more money to alternative transportation sources.
“The only solution I see that helps everyone out is putting more money into alternative transportation sources like carpools and buspools,” he said.
A small-scale system of this form of transportation is already offered through UCSB. Students have free access to MTD buses and can also join a vanpool, where students only pay for gas and the maintenance of the vehicle. UCSB employees can also receive half off their bus fare through the Transportation Alternatives Program.
Fees for parking have increased each year for the past 10 years, as demand for spots steadily grows.
“We’re catching up on needed academic buildings. As the campus is growing, parking is going down,” committee member Brian McGuire said. “No one wants to raise these rates. There’s just a lot of bureaucratic options and decision making left.”
Students can view the alternatives and post their comments on the website, located at http://bap.ucsb.edu/capital.development/csacop/csacop.htm.