Last Monday, the Students’ Association Senate voted eight to five to discontinue the investigation into tiered parking as a solution to student parking complaints.
Tiered parking was evaluated last spring in an opinion poll with the results being almost 50:50, taken from a very small voter turnout. Ultimately, the SA decided to put the issue on hold for this year to focus on current issues that could be more easily resolved and be more beneficial to the student body.
“Based on inconclusive results from the poll last spring, we figured tiered parking would be a temporary solution at best and that the current system is fine enough,” SA President and senior Alexander Pearlman said. “We are planning on checking out other situations like security in parking lots and parking shuttles. Basically, we’re working on smaller solutions that we feel will have a long-term benefit.”
Perhaps the main reason that this issue was taken off the table at this time was the consultation with a transportation planning company, which had never been done before.
“I think the main difference was that we actually had commentary from a company that specializes in it,” Co-Chair of Projects and Services Committee and sophomore Janna Gewirtz said. “Senators understand that they are not experts on tiered parking, so it is their job to educate themselves and look for resources to do so.”
Tiered parking is a system by which there would be three different parking zones, A through C, with the cost of Zone A being the highest and the location being the closest and C being the cheapest and the farthest away.
The other option, which the SA has currently decided to keep, is to continue with a flat parking rate of $353 a year for any lot, no matter the distance. It is based upon seniority, or class year, and the parking lottery is done each year before the housing lottery, which means that students don’t know which lots are closest to their dorms.
A concern with the tiered parking system is that it would be based upon socio-economic status, which would ultimately disallow certain students to park closer to campus based upon monetary issues.
“There’s no real push for it,” Pearlman said. “The concerns students have about parking are security, location and ticketing and not so much as how much they are paying for their spot. We can identify ways to solve other problems, and that is where our attention lies.”
Some possible improvements that the SA is working on in lieu of tiered parking, as mentioned before, include parking shuttles, which would provide safe transportation for students in lots far away from their dorms, especially late at night when such action could be a security concern. The SA is also looking into discounted rates on cabs without the coupons, which many students would utilize to move around the city, as well as working to improve the bus system. Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.