New parking rules for USD community

Elisabeth Smith | Assistant News Editor

While most students were still soaking up the last days of summer, the University of San Diego Parking Services enacted big changes for the east side of campus. Starting on Monday Aug. 24, they launched a new-metered parking initiative on the east campus.

According to the email sent out to the USD community by the Vice President for University Relations, Timothy L. O’Malley, the initiative creates more easily accessible parking for students, faculty, and staff.

Currently the metered parking affects Mission Parking Structure and along Torero Way. There are two signs stating that all drivers must pay at the pay stations between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Two parking meters are located in front of the Loma Hall South Lot and in front of the University Center.

Community Relations Specialist Shayna Tobin elaborated on the expansion of the metered-parking initiative.

“There are two pay stations [along Torero Way], and this change was necessary so that we can continue offering these close, convenient spaces, while also accommodating the multitude of visitors that will need to park in order to visit the new Torero Store,” Tobin said.  

Nine pay stations were installed in the Mission Parking Structure to ensure spaces in the structure are being used by those who pay for parking.

The initiative also creates a more cost-effective alternative for part-time students or those who take evening classes so they do not have to buy a full-time parking pass.

“The pay stations in the Mission Structure may offer some flexibility for some students,” Tobin said. “That includes part-time and evening students, who may only be on campus one time per week, and for whom a traditional permit may not make the most financial sense.The pay stations offer a pay-as-you-go option for some students.

An unexpected part of the new initiative is that all vehicles are subject to the changes along Torero Way. This means that all vehicles, even those that display parking passes, are required to pay at the pay station when parking at the metered spots along the street.

Junior Tanya Ibrahim commutes to campus five to seven times a week.

“I don’t really think it’s fair to us to have to pay for even more parking in the places that are the most convenient and ‘safer’ for us when it comes to when we have late night classes and are in the library late at night,” Ibrahim said.

All vehicles displaying valid parking passes are not exempt from the metered parking along Torero Way. For all vehicles, rates are $1.50 per hour with a maximum of two hours.

Senior Katy Taylor has been commuting to campus from Mission Beach for one semester.

“I’d have to say it really isn’t fair,” Taylor said. “Students pay a lot of money for parking passes and to add another payment on top of that seems ridiculous. Maybe I’d understand if the passes weren’t already over a hundred dollars.”

In the Mission Parking Structure meter prices range from $0.75 to $8 depending on how long the vehicle stays. Full and half day passes, which are for four hours or more, are only allowed in this structure.

The payment stations accept coins or credit and debit cards, according to the Parking Services website. Guests can also pay through the application “Whoosh!”. The application is available in the App Store and can help guests pay without waiting in line. However, guests parking in either of the locations are required to pay at the pay stations.

Sophomore Emma Nowakoski has been parking on campus for over a year.

“I think parking in Mission [Parking Structure] should be free,” Nowakoski said. “Even though other schools, like bigger schools, always require you to pay. I think the added cost with discourage people to come and visit during the week because it’s an unnecessary expense at our already expensive school.”

Guests can still receive a free parking pass from the entrance kiosks where they can park in the West parking structure and parking lot.

In addition to the metered parking, Parking Services announced that parking would be free on the weekends. No parking permits will be required on the weekends in order to improve guest parking on campus.

The pilot program will last a year and Parking Services plans to expand metered parking to other parts of campus. Students can savor another year of free parking on the west side of campus before Parking Services makes anymore changes.