OSU says parking not an issue on campus

Gaby Mudd News Contributor

OSU officials say more spaces are not needed

Due to the cost of parking spaces, commuters have been parking on campus without permits which limits the spaces for others who have purchased passes.

Oregon State University students are encouraged to buy parking passes early, in order to park on campus for spring term.

Currently, there are a little over 4,800 commuter spaces and 1,100 resident spaces purchased right now according to Mark Zandoenlla, the parking manager of transportation services at OSU. There are also monthly and metered parking spaces available to students looking to commute to campus. Zandoenlla encouraged students to buy parking passes early on to ensure that they receive a spot.

“It assures (commuters) a spot and there is a certain peace of mind knowing you have a spot available to you, it is one less thing to worry about in the morning,” Zandoenlla said.

Zandoenlla explained that there is plenty of parking availability readily accessible to students that need passes and there is not a growing need for the university to create more parking spaces.

“It is a common misconception that we need more spaces,” Zandoenlla said. “But the zonal parking system and our parking enforcement system have a greater impact than just making more spaces.”

Zandonella also addressed the common misconception that parking services just enforces traffic violations and described why enforcement is important to the parking system.

“Enforcement makes sure that students who have paid for a spot have room in their lot to park,” Zandonella said. “If someone who has not purchased a pass parks in any of the lots that require one, they are taking the spot of someone who has paid.”

Trinity Whitaker, a freshman in human development and family sciences and pre-education who lives in Finley Hall, spoke to her struggles in purchasing a residential parking pass last term.

“I tried to purchase a pass during week eight of winter term, and I was told there was no parking passes available,” Whitaker said. “I was told to park in places that passes were not required on or off campus or pay $10 a day for a parking pass even though I live in the dorms.”

However, later on, Whitaker was able to purchase a pass to park on campus week 10 for spring term.

“I waited two weeks and went into parking services and they actually ended up having spots available,” Whitaker said. “I got wrong information the first time, but I was able to purchase a pass two weeks later.”

Isamar Chavez, the ASOSU director of campus affairs, spoke to how parking affordability on campus is sometimes a struggle for some who commute everyday.

“From what I have been hearing from students, it seems like there are more spaces available than are being used,” Chavez said. “These students who do not have a parking pass, or cannot afford one, have to park in residential areas which becomes a problem for parking off campus as well.”

Chavez explained the complexity behind students being able to afford parking passes on campus.

“I have found that some students have a choice to pick between paying $300 or $400 to purchase a parking pass or pay for their books tuition, or rent,” Chavez said.

Chavez encouraged students to speak out and advocate for issues that they observe on campus such as parking fees.

“Most of the time it is not about having the accessibility to park on campus,” Chavez said. “It becomes more about affordability.”

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