Letter: Fix the parking problem now

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you about an issue that I feel has not been fully addressed in a while and I strongly believe it should be. The parking issue at San Diego State University is without a doubt horrendous. Not only do we not have enough parking structures for students to comfortably find a spot before being late to class, there is seemingly no real action being taken towards solving this irritating problem that all Aztecs have to deal with, including the faculty and staff.

According to the article published in The Daily Aztec on April 27, 2015, Ashley Quintero, a staff writer, stated that the San Diego State’s Parking Services was administering a survey “on students’ preferred method of transportation to get to campus.” Quintero also included a quote from the Director of Parking and Auxiliary Services, Debbie Richeson, in her article. Richeson claims that the “feedback collected through this survey … will be used to develop recommendations that are sustainable, user-focused and that meet the parking and campus access needs of the university.” Being a student that is personally affected by the issue, I greatly appreciate the effort being taken to assess the current parking situation at hand. My only concern is that the assessment process will take too long in order to produce actual results any time soon. We desperately need a temporary but effective solution.

Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I drive myself to the university. The drive alone is about 23 minutes on a “good” day because I commute from Chula Vista. However, I almost always have to factor in the dreadful time it takes to actually find a parking spot on campus, which usually ranges anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on if it is the first week back, a regular school day, or finals week. It is clear that campus is going to be overwhelmingly packed during peak times, such as the first few weeks back, the week of midterms, and finals week. Now, I also understand there are a lot of students and faculty that attend SDSU daily. I know there is not much in our budget at the current moment to fund the construction of another parking structure. However, I do believe there is something that can be done in the meanwhile.

SDSU needs to be more strict when it comes to giving out parking tickets. This simple step can make a huge difference in the frustration numerous students face. There have been countless times I have witnessed a faculty member parked in a student lot or even a car parked in the student lot without a permit whatsoever. I do not wish to be a snitch or anything but these people are getting away with parking in the spots that regular SDSU students practically have to sell a kidney just to afford ($135 to $213). Not only does this annoyance take away that potential spot for a deserving (and paying) student, it is simply unfair.

In addition to my fellow Aztecs and I paying an absurd amount of money for a parking permit every semester, it does not even guarantee a parking spot every time we go to campus. Many times I have driven all the way from Chula Vista to come to class and been late just because I could not find a parking spot in time. It just does not make any sense due to the large amount of money we have to spend in order to be at this university in the first place. The requirement for incoming freshman to live on campus for their first year does help relieve some of the stress because a majority of them will not need to bring a car, thus opening up more parking spots for those who commute like myself. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent solution because administration is allowing more and more students to attend or transfer to SDSU with each passing year.

My call-to-action in order to attempt to control the chaos and temporarily solve this bothersome parking issue on campus is that there should be stricter policies on displaying parking permits on every vehicle until the budget can afford to build another parking structure for the ever-growing and thriving San Diego State University.

Sincerely Frustrated,

Emma Hernandez

Communication Senior