South Campus Plaza opened on Jan. 15 to house a portion of freshmen living in the dorms.
One of the freshmen resident dorms, Tenochca, closed over winter break and is undergoing construction this semester.
The 600 displaced students from the dorm were moved to the apartment-style rooms in the South Campus Plaza.
Residence halls are open but other areas of the plaza are still undergoing construction for future retail development.
The plaza is off of College Avenue and Montezuma Road.
These two roads are connected to the I-8 freeway and most students use either of these two streets to get on and off the freeway when they are headed to or leaving campus.
Traffic has increased in this area because of the construction of the South Campus Plaza.
“The roads are sometimes under construction by the plaza on College (Avenue) and only one lane will be open,” public administration junior Jessica Davis said. “It’ll take me over 20 minutes to get a mile down Montezuma.”
Davis, who lives less than half a mile from campus this year, says the construction limits how far she wants to live from campus because it takes such a long time to drive to school for those who don’t live right next to campus.
Additionally, San Diego State has been accepting more undergraduates and the campus population is continually growing larger.
According to SDSU NewsCenter, San Diego State had 28,344 undergraduates enrolled in fall 2015.
By fall 2016, the school had 29,046 undergraduates enrolled, an increase of over 700 students.
SDSU also received a record-breaking number of applications in fall 2016. With over 83,000 applications, there was nearly a 3 percent increase in applications since fall 2015.
Last year, a city ordinance went into effect that prohibits the new development of “mini-dorms” in the College Area.
Homes now cannot be built with more than five or six bedrooms depending on the size of the home.
This poses a problem because there are only a set number of houses and room for students to rent near campus, yet the amount of students requiring housing continues to increase.
“I started looking for houses for the 2017-2018 school year and the ones near campus almost all went before the end of February,” mechanical engineering junior Jessica Roesgen said. “All the houses by campus are more expensive to rent too, but I also don’t want to live too far from campus because the traffic is so bad in the mornings. I’ve been late (to school) a couple times because of it.”
While South Campus Plaza was still under construction in 2015, San Diego State proposed a city ordinance to widen sidewalks and bike lanes to encourage environmentally better alternatives to driving.
The College Area Community Council opposed SDSU’s proposal because the traffic conditions are already congested.
Instead, they proposed the development of a six-lane road down College Avenue.
Former councilmember Marti Emerald said that she “favors a plan that better meets the needs of everyone that will be impacted by the South Campus Plaza.”
There are no set plans yet to address the traffic congestion in this area.
It takes commuting students longer to get to and from school, cutting into time that could be spent at school or studying.
As the amount of housing near campus stagnates while the number of students seeking housing rises, more students will be forced to live farther from campus.
As more students live farther from campus and have to commute to school, there will be more cars on the road and increased traffic on the streets near campus.
The freshmen who live in dorms and the new South Campus Plaza this year will be looking for housing for the 2017-2018 school year, along with thousands of other juniors and seniors.
With the current construction obstructing traffic near campus and the increasing number of enrolled students, the challenge of finding housing in a community with limited resources becomes that much more challenging.