Jan 27, 2020

University considering adding parking structures to campus landscape

Fresno State has outlined renovations to campus parking in the university’s 10- and 20-year master plans. Before 2017, the campus will see three proposed parking structures built over existing lots K, A and E.

As of now, the total number and location of lots will mostly stay how they are. Whether the plans to alleviate parking congestion are geographically on the mark — and whether or not students will be willing to pay for the plans — remains to be seen.

According to the master plans, in 10 years the university will improve overflow problem in Lot Q in the northwest by building a new structure in the adjacent Lot K. Students, though, will have to wait 20 years for a structure over Lot J in the northeast.

The congestion in the northeast lots T, Y and J will be further cleared up by the 20-year plan, as Lot J will also get a parking structure. Lot C in the southeast has a structure planned to be erected as well, while lot D near the library, which is designated for faculty and staff, will be replaced with buildings along the way, to reduce traffic inside the campus.

Students torn

The other planned structures will go up over parking lots that currently see no need for additions.
Students have mixed reactions to how the structure may improve the parking.

“I think a parking structure or garage is a great idea,” Jessica Freligh, a business major, said.

“I personally enjoy parking a floor or two up so that I am close to the stairs on the second floor and get down faster than circling.”

Others are not so sure the structures will affect them and will continue to wait for other students to leave their spots.

“It may open some parking up,” viticulture major Michael Weinstock said. “But it will be too far away from any of my classes or work for me to park there. My parking habits will probably stay the same.”

Price hike possible funding strategy

The university’s public information officer, Amy Armstrong, believes that the best way for the structures to work is for them to be loaded and unloaded properly, preferable with multiple entry and exit ways.

“The complaints may change,” Armstrong said. “But at least we can offer something to the students for the fee.”

The fee Armstrong is referring to is that in order to build and maintain the structures, the price for parking passes, daily passes, and parking meters will rise.

Parking tickets, however, do not play a part in the pot for parking maintenance.

Though Fresno State is currently on the low spectrum of paying when it comes to passes, Armstrong said that those California State University campuses with structures pay more than triple than students here do.

On this issue, students were united in their reactions.

Freligh said: “I think tripling the price of parking passes is a terrible and scary idea. Many students complain about the price of students’ fees already and there potentially would be an uproar if the already expensive for college student parking pass were to triple.”

Weinstock said: “That would suck. I would probably stop driving and get a bike.”

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