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November 14, 2005

Parking situation getting better—for now

Photo: Construction is well under way on the new parking Structure III.
Construction is well under way on the new parking Structure III.

The campus has weathered its first major parking storm of the academic year, but parking officials warn there are more rough seas ahead.

Losses of parking spaces caused, ironically, by the construction of a new parking structure led to an unprecedented blitz of messages at the beginning of the semester encouraging students, faculty and staff to use alternate transportation if possible. University Transportation and Parking Services (UTAPS) also opened the stadium area as well as a lot at the University’s Ramona Avenue property for parking. The Hornet Express shuttle program provides regular transport between the Ramona lot and the campus.

The message was received and midway through the semester the parking crunch seemed to have eased, at least for the time being.

University Transportation and Parking Services Director Nancy Fox reports that spaces have been available even at peak times—9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday—in Lots 9 and 10 near Modoc and Napa Halls and campuswide on Friday. And the stadium parking lot has only been used sparingly after the first six weeks of the semester passed. Spaces are also readily available at the Ramona Avenue site. As a result, the Ramona Avenue Lot will be closed on Fridays unless needed.

But the start of the spring semester is expected to bring an even bigger parking crunch than the fall did. Construction of the new Hornet Bookstore east of the University Union is expected to begin in January, eliminating an additional 300 parking spaces.

If current growth trends continue, the campus would need 12,135 spaces in spring 2006 to accommodate the campus population of students, faculty and staff. But through a combination of previously existing parking shortages, and spaces eliminated by the construction of Parking Structure III and the new bookstore, the campus will be short 2,494 spaces. By Fall 2006, with a new influx of students, faculty and staff, that shortage will increase to 3,442.

As before, shuttle service to and from the Ramona Avenue lot will be available with shuttles running about every 20 minutes. Parking in the stadium area will be available but only when weather conditions permit. Campus commuters will again be strongly encouraged to seek alternate transportation choices. Faculty and staff can purchase a six-month permit good for use on all Regional Transit buses and Light Rail. Students have already paid through their registration fees to use Regional Transit at no additional cost by showing their One Card with a current enrollment sticker attached. Information on carpooling, the Hornet Express shuttle, the Guaranteed Ride Home program and other transit options are available on Transportation and Parking’s website at www.csus.edu/utaps.

Fox says the situation will ease for a bit in spring 2007 when Parking Structure III is expected to open.

In the years to come, other expansion projects are expected to impact parking such as plans to increase the number of students living on campus. But long-range plans under consideration also call for another solution: Parking Structure IV.

For more information on campus parking, visit www.csus.edu/utaps/.



 

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