Parking services enacts policy changes
Every year, parking on campus seems to be a point of contention among students at the University of San Diego. While many students appreciate the opportunity to have a car on campus, the sheer amount of students trying to park can make it nearly impossible to find a spot.
This is especially true for students commuting to campus, and, for many of these students, having class anytime after nine in the morning makes finding a parking spot on campus especially difficult. Students living at the beach or downtown can’t just roll out of bed and head to class; rather, they need to allot an additional 20 or 30 minutes to find a parking spot before class.
In an effort to alleviate some of these parking stresses for students, Parking Services made several changes to the parking regulations this semester.
Some of these changes include metered parking expanding to the West Parking Structure, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice South lot, Jenny Craig Pavilion West lot, and the parking lot adjacent to Manchester Field. Additionally, in the past, parking permits were required Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.; now the enforcement hours for permits have been changed to 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Reserved spaces that were previously restricted solely for the use of the space holder Monday through Friday until 5:00 p.m. are now available for students beginning at 4 p.m. In addition to these changes, Parking Services is also recommending all visitors on campus to park in the West Parking Structure.
Senior Emma von Tscharner explained that she appreciates Parking Service’s effort to make parking an easier process on campus.
“All of [the] changes they’ve made are great,” von Tscharner said.
While many of the solutions seem to be working for students who have classes at night, those who like to schedule morning classes are still finding it problematic to search for a parking spot near their classes. More traffic being directed to the larger parking lots is especially tricky, as many students rely on the availability of these spots for their daily parking needs.
For students paying a premium to park on campus, this can be especially frustrating. Students may even feel compelled to break the rules in order to make it on time to class. While it may be tempting to park in residential areas, spots reserved for Immaculata visitors, or even in reserved faculty spaces, doing so can result in a hefty fee from Parking Services.
While many students commuting to campus say the new parking policies are not as effective as they had hoped, those students who live within walking distance to campus are seeing some benefits.
Senior Bridget Olsen, who lives in the Carmel Pacific Ridge Apartments across the street from USD, saw the metered parking as a nice alternative to buying a semester long parking pass.
“I like the [option of] metered parking because it gives me a chance to park on campus when I’m running late or feeling overwhelmed with class, and I don’t want to commit to a full semester parking pass,” Olsen says.
Even though parking protocols are working well for students living within walking distance of campus, those who commute to school are facing a daily battle to park on campus.
Senior Gabriella Koepenick agreed that these new rules are a step in the right direction but did not see the new parking protocols as enough of a solution.
“The new regulations put into effect cater to the students who have evening classes, but, unless you are carpooling first thing in the morning, getting a spot for your nine o’clock class means leaving the house extra early,” Koepenick says.
For students with classes scheduled during peak hours, finding a spot within a reasonable amount of time is often difficult due to the highly impacted parking structures. While the changes Parking Services have enacted are a step in the right direction, there are still improvements to be made.
Written by Blair Butler, contributor