Students, faculty and staff are once again irritated with parking, even with the dip in enrollment this semester. Students who purchased the semester permit for $157.50 or the fall and spring permit for $315.00 are particularly vexed when they can’t make use of it consistently. The fact is Parking and Commuter Services oversells permits. TallChief Comet, Administrator of Parking & Commuter Services, says that when one flow of users hop into their vehicles and vacate space, the next flow of users compete for parking. In other words, the ratio of permits sold balances out with the inevitable schedule turnarounds. Additionally, the chances of developing more parking lots in the future are close to zero. In light of this recurring issue, Parking & Commuter Services encourages alternative modes of transportation to not only lower costs and reduce stress, but to reduce the carbon footprint. Alternatives include the JackPass, which offers free access on the Redwood Transit System, Eureka Transit System and Arcata and Mad River Transit System buses during the fall and spring semesters. Parking and Commuter Services are working with the City of Arcata to implement bike sharing-service Zagster next fall. Also, reconstruction of the G14 and G15 parking lots below the Behavioral and Social Sciences building will slightly increase the number of parking spaces and incorporate “smart” parking technologies to name a few improvements. The smart technology will involve space sensors that will allow permit owners to monitor parking space availability. Reconstruction is expected to start next summer and end before the subsequent fall semester. Vehicle owners who commute to the university within a mile or two of their residence should consider walking to school or taking advantage of said alternative modes of transportation. Participate and reap the rewards of sustainable practices in no time, including the cost of gas. Parking is likely to be an issue for years to come so students, faculty and staff must accept it for what it is and learn to work with the system until further changes can be enforced. In the meantime, there are underused programs available and other sustainable ways to get around town. Use the resources that are available to you. Visit parking.humboldt.edu for more details. Ride on.
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