The highlight of the August 26 ASCSM meeting was the special session on campus parking. The meeting was attended by Gary Bowersock, the Director of Facilities Management, who presented the parking component of the CSM Master Plan. After his presentation, Gary stayed for nearly an hour to address student concerns about parking.
According to Bowersock’s presentation, the CSM Master Plan calls for the CSM campus to become more of a pedestrian campus. For example, pedestrian access is to be improved by a foot bridge or tunnel across 6th avenue. Gary also highlighted the new parking meter system. This system is designed to make it easier for visitors to find parking by allowing them to purchase parking on arrival.
The first issue raised in the Q&A session was overflow for tiered parking. Students felt that if all the higher tier parking spaces were occupied, people with the higher tier permits should be able to park in the lower tier lots. Support for this change was overwhelming and led to a quick change in time for the start of the new parking plan. As of August 31st, the parking system was changed to allow permit holders to park down. Reserved permits are now allowed in general and commuter parking. General permits are now allowed to park in commuter lots and commuters are allowed to overflow into the remote lots. However, permit holders are strongly encouraged to park in their tier unless there is no room left.
A Geology museum staff member voiced concerns that there is no easy parking available for visitors due to the new parking system and the Golden parking permit system. They argued that this is likely to decrease community usage of the Geology Museum and is an affront to their donors and other off campus associates.
Mines Park residents raised concerns about other people parking in their parking spaces and filling up the parking. Also, concern was raised with regard to the safety of the pedestrians crossing 6th Avenue. It was suggested that the proposed footbridge would cut down on the number of people driving from Mines Park to campus and therefore reduce congestion on campus. Gary noted that they are trying to encouraging people to walk to campus from Mines Park.
Echoing the concerns from Mines Park residents, some of the Greeks were concerned that there would be too many non-Greeks parking on Greek street.
Upperclassmen brought up the new policy of freshmen leaving cars in prime general parking real estate and not moving them for days at a time. According to a recent email, there are incentives being offered for students living in the traditional residence halls and Weaver Towers to park in outlying lots during the week. Furthermore, the policy of allowing freshmen in general parking is under review for future semesters.
Finally, it should be noted that a student asked the cost of the parking meters. The response of about $130,000 elicited an immediate negative response from some of the audience
After the Q&A session, ASCSM appointed Jonathan Harrelson as the new ASCSM secretary following the resignation of the previous ASCSM secretary.