EDITORIAL: Wake us up from the parking ‘nightmare’


Joseph Daniels

File photo

State Hornet

Next school year, Sacramento State’s historically problematic parking is going to become a “nightmare,” according to President Robert Nelsen.

The cause is the confluence of several campus construction projects, which are projected to block or close about 1,200 of the school’s parking spaces.

The university shouldn’t be closing so many spaces on a campus where the parking situation is already awful (what’s temporary to the school is permanent to students who are only here for a few years), and the proposed solution lacks creativity while posing new problems.

In an attempt to offset the effect of the closures, Sac State has been trying to get everyone enthused about the parking opportunities available at Ramona Lot — a mile-and-a-half south of Hornet Stadium.

For only $87 a semester, you can park at Ramona Lot and wait for a shuttle to take you to the main campus.

If you can’t get back to the lot by 8 p.m., no problem. For now, you can just call the campus police to unlock the gate if your car gets stuck there after-hours.

Sac State has tried to push students to use Ramona Lot for several years now — and when students don’t oblige, the distant outpost closes after the first few weeks of courses.

The school’s remedy for the unpopularity of Ramona Lot is to limit the number of regular parking decals that will be sold each semester.

But even if more students use Ramona Lot in the fall, it is an embarrassing attempt at a solution that we predict will backfire.

Instead of a thousand more students factoring in shuttle trips to their already hectic schedules — if the past is any indication — students will turn to more illegal parking both on and off campus.

And the Home Depot across from Folsom Hall, among other local businesses, will probably be none too happy about even more Sac State students using their parking lots.

If Ramona Lot is an example of a solution that doesn’t take the realities of student life into consideration, what should the school do to wake us all up from the parking nightmare?

First, there’s the obvious answer of not scheduling so many construction projects at once.

If it’s too late for that, the school could better utilize the spots available by spacing out classes, which could have the effect of leaving more spaces open during peak weekday hours.

In his first address to the campus in 2015, Nelsen said that the school had to be more responsible with its spaces.

“We have to be willing to use the entire campus and the entire week — even Fridays (and) weekends,” Nelsen said.

While some students and faculty may be averse to Friday and weekend courses, enough — especially those who work during the week — may like the idea of taking them and thus free up parking spaces when they are most needed.

If the school is slow to fix the parking apocalypse, there are things students can do.

Order your fall 2017 parking pass early.

But if that doesn’t work, those trying to avoid the fate of Ramona Lot or the risks of illegal parking do have another trick up their sleeves.

As a Sac State student, you can use Sacramento Regional Transit free of charge with a commuter sleeve.

If you live nearby a light rail station, walk or park there for $1 a day or $15 a month, take the train (which comes every 15 minutes during the day) to the University-65th Street stop and walk 0.3 miles to campus, which begins at the sign that reads “CSUS” above a walkway at the intersection of Elvas and 65th Street.

Certainly this solution is less convenient than hopping in your car and driving to campus, but it also drops you off closer to campus and with more money in your pocket than if you buy a Ramona Lot decal.

If only the administration would be so creative.