UC San Diego Transportation Services announced on June 28 that it will not proceed with the proposed weekend parking fee after outcry from students and the San Diego County Democratic Party. It will still proceed with the second-year permit restriction.
Transportation Services posted the proposal to add a weekend and evening parking fee on Virtual Town Hall for feedback during Spring Quarter, and 95% of the 820 commenters voiced opposition to the proposal. Despite the opposition, Transportation Services announced plans to implement the proposal and another proposal banning second years from buying parking permits on June 20.
If implemented, campus visitors would have to pay $5 per day on weekends and a yet to be determined fee for evenings.
Transportation Services Director Josh Kavanagh told The Triton in an email that the fees collected from weekend parking will be used to partially pay for the 6,900 total parking spots that have opened up, are under construction, or are currently being planned. This is meant to limit large increases in weekday parking fees.
Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) President Eleanor Grudin released a statement on Facebook saying that she is working with Transportation Services and the Student Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC) to resolve the issue.
“The frustration that we, as students, feel about having our voices ignored — the constant feeling of going to ‘UC Scam Diego’ where decisions are being made for the University but not for us, is real,” Grudin’s statement said. “This sort of action is not new and is something that is being taken seriously.”
College Democrats at UCSD President Jacob Faust created a change.org petition on June 23, calling on Transportation Services to cancel both the proposed parking fees and the second year permit restriction. As of publication, the petition has received close to 10,000 signatures.
“Our goal for this petition is twofold: first, to convince the administration to reverse these harmful policies; and secondly, to show students (and the university at large) that we are not afraid to take action when it matters,” Faust told The Triton. “Students have more power than we think!”
Transportation Services updated the Virtual Town Hall listing on June 25, stating that it was working with STAC, ASUCSD, and the Graduate Student Association to introduce alternatives to the fee. It released a statement on June 28, saying that it will not pursue the $5 fee and reiterated that it is working with student government to create alternative proposals.
“Transportation Services agrees with our students that there needs to be additional inclusive dialogue on the new alternatives that will be developed,” the Transportation Services statement said. “Once we have created an updated proposal — which takes into account the student input we have received — we will ensure that information about the new proposal and opportunities to provide additional feedback are communicated to students.”
Ethan Edward Coston is the Managing Editor of The Triton. You can follow him @Ethan4Books. Staff Writer Samir Nomani contributed to the research and writing of this article.