Students and staff can expect a restructuring of parking permits on the Colorado State University campus, but not anytime soon.
After surveying staff and faculty, Parking and Transportation Services has decided to postpone any decisions for two years while more research is conducted and concerns brought up in the surveys are addressed.
The two parking permit options that were asked about in the survey were the current model and a tiered model, according to Martín Carcasson, director of the Center for Public Deliberation at CSU. The tiered model would create three tiers of different costs, with the most frequently used lots being most expensive and the farther away lots being less expensive.
Carcasson’s report on the survey results recommended waiting to make changes while more research is done to look at different possible changes or problems identified in the survey.
Students were not surveyed in this round, but Carcasson said he recommended to get student input.
“Students also were able to come to two open houses held to provide feedback and ask questions about potential parking models on campus,” Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications at CSU Mike Hooker wrote in an email to the Collegian.
According to Hooker, Associated Students of Colorado State University also has representatives on the Parking Services Committee, where these issues and ideas were discussed.
According to Carcasson’s report, a frustration with the current model is that people must hunt for parking spots because of how many permits that are sold for each lot.
“Right now, they sell as many permits as people want to buy,” Carcasson wrote in an email to the Collegian.
With the tiered model, there would only be a limited amount of permits sold at the A level, so finding a spot in an A lot should be easier, according to Carcasson.
“Students will be able to buy A permits after all staff and faculty have the opportunity, assuming they didn’t sell out,” Carcasson wrote.
The tiered model is set up so that the most expensive A permits are split into three zones; AR for student residential, A South and A North. Someone with an A North tag could not park in an A South lot, according to Carcasson.
“They need to do this to better manage the number of permits versus the number of spots,” Carcasson wrote.
An issue that arose in the survey was raising permit costs for faculty based on salary.
“We concluded that assessing need based on salary is not a reliable model,” Hooker wrote. “Some employees may have multiple sources of income, which would offset needs, and at the same time, an employee who may appear to have sufficient income to cover parking expenses may have life circumstances which make that incredibly difficult.”
Carcasson said this issue was also seen as a class issue in the surveys, meaning that many respondents said that only those that could afford the expensive permit could park close, while lower income people may be forced to walk farther and park farther from their buildings.
ASCSU President Sam Guinn wrote in an email to the Collegian that the tiered system could be a good opportunity for students.
“Students currently don’t have any close spots and can only be in Z or commuter lots, and with the opening of all lots on the tiered model, it theoretically will open up every spot for any person who can pay the prices for the more expensive closer spots,” Guinn wrote.
According to Carcasson, new parking structures will be built to make up for losses due to construction, and these models will just dictate how the lots and garages are organized.
Two parking structures are in the works, according to Hooker.
One lot is being built on the south end of campus across from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and should be completed by August. The lot will have Transfort service to get students to campus, according to Hooker.
Guinn said these new parking structures will help accommodate parking while the stadium construction is going on.
PTS is presenting a proposal for a parking garage on the southeast side of campus to the Board of Governors later this month and should be completed by 2016 if approved, according to Hooker.
Permit fee changes will also be reviewed at the Board of Governors meeting this month. According to Hooker, parking fees must pay for the new parking lot and parking garage.
Collegian City Beat Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sadyswan.