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RHA says residents’ parking dwindling

A proposal by the Residence Hall Association seeks to increase the number of on-campus students’ parking spaces but with an increase in the cost of parking decals, said RHA president Andy Festa.

Monday night, RHA held its meeting in the Argos study lounge to discuss various proposals seeking approval by Parking and Transportation Services. Among the proposals was the construction of a new parking garage to be shared by all students with permits.

Festa said resident parking was viewed as an issue because of the decrease in spaces due to construction.

“We had been talking over the summer because we saw the removal of Lot 5d to make the new Maple suites would create problems,” said Festa. “We sat down with Greg Sylvester (director for parking and transportation services) and had a discussion about what would be best for the students (in regards to parking).”

The proposal seeks to cap the number of permits sold each year, said Festa. Parking and Transportation Services does not currently set a cap on the number of permits it sells.

RHA also proposed the construction of a parking garage would create parking for all faculty and students.

“We would like to construct a six-story garage on Lot 35,” said Festa. “The lot could be used by all students and staff.”

Lot 35 is located on the corner of Maple and East Holly.

The proposal also addressed the issue of Greek parking once housing is completed, said Festa. The bill proposed Greek students be given a different permit that would allow them to only park on their parking lots.

All these proposed changes do not come without a cost, said Festa.

“It depends on how much the Physical Plant and Residence Services accept our plan,” said Festa. “We propose no more than a $10 increase in parking decals for all students.”

Sylvester said these proposals would affect parking all around campus.

The proposals being reviewed sought to include various aspects of the future of parking for resident students, Sylvester said.

“(The proposals stand) by themselves, but in my area everything you change in one area has a domino effect on everything else,” said Sylvester. “(The proposals) have to be looked at within their context.”

Festa said the bill is important because it would bring more representation to residents’ parking.

“In the master plan that (Parking and Transportation Services) has on its Web page, it doesn’t focus on resident parking at all,” said Festa. “(The plan) focuses on commuters and leaves residents pretty much out.”

All but one of the proposals on the bill were approved.

The extension of Lot 35 to include more resident parking would be the only noticeable change for the coming year, said Sylvester.

Sylvester said the biggest problem with planning any changes dealing with parking is that it’s limited.

“When we’re dealing with parking, we’re dealing with a finite resource with competing constituencies,” said Sylvester. “Non-residents and resident students, as well as staff, are part of that group.”