Administration Attempts to Remedy Lack of Student Parking
With the beginning of a new year, the number of students attending UCI is continually increasing and students struggle to find parking and make it to class on time. In response, the administration is implementing stack parking, planning to add another parking structure and offering parking tips to help remedy the situation.
Rasheed Horsford, the lead supervisor for special event parking explained that they are testing out stack parking in various parking structures on campus in order to find the lot that is most suited for stack parking.
He said that they are looking for a parking structure ‘that provides enough space for students to use the program and the safest environment for the cars.’
Due to liability concerns and lack of adequate space, stack parking is no longer available in the Social Science Parking Structure.
‘[We’re] no longer stacking because it’s kind of dangerous. The aisles are small; it creates a lot of liability on us,’ Horsford said. ‘No accidents occurred, but we didn’t want that to happen.’
According to Horsford, with the absence of stack parking in the Social Science Parking Structure, they are going to implement stack parking on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Lot 82 which is located in the Medical School Plaza. Horsford estimated that it would add approximately 40 to 50 parking spots to the structure.
Horsford hopes that implementing stack parking in the sciences area will help alleviate lack of parking in the near future caused by ongoing campus construction.
‘Possibly in the spring most of the parking lots in the science area will close, so we’re trying to prepare students,’ Horsford said. ‘We’re just trying to help the students get to class on time. We know parking is a problem [and we want to help] ease the problem.’
UCI Parking Director Mike Delo feels parking has always been a problem at the beginning of the school year.
‘Parking is very tight around the campus,’ Delo said. ‘It’s always congested the first two to three weeks of fall quarter.’
Delo estimated that there are 13,000 commuter and resident parking spaces on campus. He explained that they sold about 11,200 parking permits to commuter students and about 2,400 to resident students totaling to approximately 13,600 student parking permits sold this year.
‘We have sufficient parking on campus just not all conveniently located, but there is shuttle service available,’ Delo said.
According to Delo, Lot 18C and most of Lot 18D will undergo construction beginning April 2004, adding a fourth parking structure to the campus and approximately 2,000 parking spaces which will be completed fall 2005.
According to Delo, the new parking structure will cost about $23 to 25 million and will be financed through revenue bonds paid off in annual payments made over a period of about 27 years.
Parking Lots 18C and 18D are located in the computer engineering science quad on Gabrielino and East Peltason.
Delo explained that parking fees were raised slightly in order to pay the interest and principal payment for the Social Science Parking Structure, which he quoted to be $1,725,000 this year.
‘[We] dropped the discount for buying the annual permit versus the quarter because of the Social Science Structure,’ Delo said.
In an attempt to increase the use of public transportation, OCTA and UCI are implementing the U-Pass program where students can ride the bus for free beginning January 2004.
‘Student ID cards will become a free bus pass so if you already have a card, you’d want to get an encoded one at ASUCI or through the parking and transportation services,’ Delo said. ‘Just swipe the card and you don’t have to pay.’
Commuter students express how they have coped with the lack of student parking.
‘Now I come 20 minutes early,’ said Jessica Rodriguez, a second-year biology major.
Marika Csapo, a third-year dance major, explained that 9 a.m. arrival is still not early enough to have her choice of parking in the Student Center.
‘You have to go to the roof