An Associated Students lock-in fee on this quarter’s ballot seeks to ensure free night and weekend parking for all undergraduate students.
If passed, the lock-in will charge undergraduates $3.33 per quarter per student beginning Fall 2003. The fee will be raised to $4.00 per quarter per student in 2005 to account for inflation. Undergraduate students would receive free night and weekend parking continuously from Fall 2003 to Summer 2007 regardless of their summer registration status, the measure states.
“It’s beneficial to all students. … Most students go to the library late at night, most students go to the RecCen late at night. It rains, it’s cold and it’s dark,” A.S. Off-campus Rep. Eva von Thury said. “People go in cars for safety reasons. Even if you don’t own a car, you get in a car with your friends, and two dollars [each time] will add up really fast.”
If the measure fails, undergraduate students will be charged the two dollar night and weekend parking rate non-students will pay every time they park on campus after 5 p.m. or on weekends.
“The simple fact of the matter is if you drive onto this campus twice a quarter, it’s going to be cheaper for you if that ballot measure passes,” Tom Roberts, director of UCSB Transportation Services, said. “If you really think about $3.33 a quarter versus two bucks every time you drive on campus, it could be a considerable value.”
Implementing the new night and weekend parking lock-in would be easy and would help pay for future parking solutions, Roberts said.
“The chancellor’s special advisory committee’s recommendation that night and weekend fees be charged is part of the big picture formula for being able to finance future construction of things like parking structures and lower the impact on overall monthly permit rates,” Roberts said.
A previous moratorium had prevented A.S. from introducing new external lock-in fees, but it has now been lifted and A.S. is free to put new lock-in fees on the ballot. Leg Council approved the measure March 5.
Not all members of Leg Council support the lock-in. Off-campus Rep. Anthony Flores opposed the bill because UCSB Transportation & Parking Services did not complete a full investigation into what amount the lock-in should be. The proposed lock-in fee on the ballot is the same amount that graduate students will pay for night and weekend parking for their pre-existing lock-in fee.
“I think night and weekend parking is different for both groups. When you’re dealing with money and a scarce commodity like parking in Santa Barbara, you need to take the time to investigate,” Flores said. “It would be better if we had done [night and weekend] fees for one year, and then [implemented] the lock-in, because once we institute a lock-in, it’s hard to fix our mistakes.”
Von Thury said the rate charged to graduate students was used as the lock-in fee because there wasn’t enough time to calculate the rate for undergraduates.
Free night and weekend parking could help alleviate the parking problems in Isla Vista as well, von Thury said.
“Let’s say you live in an apartment next to campus and it’s a busy weekend. There are a lot of people that aren’t from around here that are taking up parking spots,” she said. “[If] you live in the first couple of blocks of school, well, you can go park on campus. That way, you have a parking spot, and parking on campus is probably closer than parking on the other side of Isla Vista.”