Increase in parking fees could result in student backlash

Increase+in+parking+fees+could+result+in+student+backlash

Channels Editorial Board and

It’s cool that City College wants to prevent cars from driving onto campus so frequently. What’s uncool is the suggested $450 price tag on parking permits.

The Transportation Alternatives Group hired a consulting group, Fehr & Peers, to compile solutions to the immense parking problem on campus. Their number one solution was upping the parking fee.

Although The Channels Editorial Board agrees with charging more to park, we think $450 is a little too steep for us struggling college students.

Right now, parking on campus costs roughly $70 for fall and spring permits, but with this new fee, students could be paying $56 a month, $118 quarterly, or just pay the $450 up front—which is a hell of a lot of money.

When college kids are busy worrying about how they will afford their next Cup O’ Noodles, it’s hard to expect them to fork over that much money for a parking pass.

For students, $450 definitely seems exorbitant.

It would be more reasonable to raise the price to something congruent with the prices to park in the Harbor lots annually, which is around $200.

This price point would likely dissuade students who live within a mile of campus, and could walk or bike, as well as some Isla Vista students who already have to pay for parking at their homes.

Then, overtime, the price of the passes can be raised to further reduce parking on campus, but we think going from $33 a semester to $450 a year might be a little too shocking to students and cause backlash.

On campus, students are constantly complaining about their commute between I.V. and City College on the 15x. In the event the price of parking goes up, the number of buses carting students between I.V. and here ought to go up too.

But, with only 788 parking spaces on West Campus, and over 7,000 car in-and-outs a day in those lots alone, it is clear we have a huge problem here.

Courtesy of Fehr & Peers
Courtesy of Fehr & Peers

Additionally, the options for students who bike are limited. As noted by Adam Green, environmental studies professor, at the Transportation Group’s last meeting, people struggle to bike up Cliff Drive to get to campus.

For the safety of students, please, please, please, give us a bike lane along Cliff Drive so there is two feet of safety between riders and zooming cars.

Speaking of safety, students who walk at night need safe ways to get to campus for evening classes.

With very little lighting between Cliff Drive and the La Brezza Apartments, it is imperative that safe routes to and from campus be made.

Students who live nearby primarily buy passes for their nighttime classes.

In light of the recent assaults in I.V., it is perfectly reasonable for students who walk to be buying passes.

By raising the cost though, some students may be forced to walk in the dark—this is why students should be offered nighttime only passes for the same price they are currently available for.

Many students who live nearby purchase those little silver and blue stickers for their windshield because 30 dollars a semester doesn’t feel like much of a burden, but with prices jacked up, they are likely to only buy the inexpensive nighttime pass.

Editors Note:
A version of this story published Friday, March 14, erroneously reported that students would pay $118 a semester for parking permits. In fact, students would pay $118 quarterly, which corresponds with UCSB’s permit pricing.