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Univ. admin responds to parking issues

Proposes shuttle, lower parking rates

February 2, 2012

By Matthew Stafford and Brianne Bauman

In order to encourage more use of South Garage, CSU President Ronald M. Berkman announced that the Parking Department would be deploying a free shuttle service from the South Garage, East 18th Street, the Arts Campus, East 13th Street, and the Student Center. The shuttle will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Berkman also announced that parking rates for South Garage would be lowered to $1 per hour with a maximum of $3 per day. The reduced parking rates do not apply to special event parking.

“I usually just park in South garage because it’s easier,” CSU commuter Nick Pauley said. “I might park elsewhere if the shuttle bus were made available to me, why not?”
Joe Mosbrook, director of strategic communication at CSU, said that the university considered shuttle buses to relieve the anxiety associated with finding suitable parking spaces.

Mosbrook explained the idea is to have three shuttles that will hit various points on campus to help facilitate movement. The plan would be to issue a timetable that will serve to know where and when the buses will stop to pick and drop off the faculty and students of CSU.

Earlier, this semester’s closure of Lot J, as well as sections of S1 and S2 for construction, commuter students, many of whom say they were already feeling the squeeze when it came to finding parking spaces, now have to contend with more competition for parking, fewer spots, and a lot more traffic. Many of them are wondering why the lots were closed.

“We have a bunch of closed lots right now that we could have used for parking,” said Eugene Truhlar, a CSU student. “Instead they’re filling them with dirt.”
Many students were echoing similar sentiments and the Student Government Association decided to step in.

Currently, there is a survey on the SGA website. According to Senator Omar Kurdi, this survey will help the SGA and the CSU administration figure out the best approach to alleviating the problem. The survey will be open as long as it needs to be in order to gather as much data as possible.
In the meantime, SGA is trying to assure students that this is temporary and for the best.

“They are constructing new living spaces for students as well as young professionals,” said SGA Vice President Jessica Beres. “You could say CSU is going through some growing pains.”

Many cash-strapped students are feeling the pains in their shrinking wallets. Some feel they have been cheated out of the parking spot they paid for. One such student is Stephen Mollar.

“I paid $205 for a parking spot near the Rec Center since I go there a lot,” Mollar said. “Now that spot is gone and now I have to park somewhere else.”
For many students this means Lot CG. On weekdays, cars can be seen circling around the lot waiting for a car to come out.

Students have been directed to use the South Garage near the Wolstein Center and Lot AA outside the Cole Center.

According to officials, South Garage is typically only half-filled. This has prompted the administration to step in and lower the rates. This might act as an incentive to park in the South Garage and lower the traffic coming into other parking lots closer to main campus buildings.

Parking and Transportation services would also like to remind students there is additional parking available at the Cole Center Lot AA, Lots HH and M off Payne Avenue, and Viking Hall Lot KK. CSU’s parking and Transportation Services suggest that students also explore off-campus parking options and consider the RTA services available to students through the U-Pass.

CSU freshman Hazem Jadallah who commutes says on average it takes him 45 minutes to get to the university from Middlebourgh by RTA.