Loss of student parking spots creates first week traffic jam


Claire Morgan

A steady stream of cars lines University Drive East on the way into campus from J Street before 8 a.m. on Aug. 28. Many students arrived to campus hours before class to find parking.

Claire Morgan

Traffic and parking on campus has been notably different this semester — Sacramento State is temporarily losing around 1,200 parking spots as well as undergoing construction of Parking Structure V, Science II, and the Union expansion project.

Parking Structure V will replace faculty/staff parking lot 1, which housed around 405 staff parking spaces. Additionally, Science II will replace faculty/staff parking lot 4, which housed around 160 staff parking spaces.

In order to make up for staff spaces due to construction, the lower three floors and ramps of Parking Structure I have been converted from student parking to staff parking.

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As previously reported, University Transportation and Parking Services (UTAPS) has proposed several ideas to ease the pain of this loss, such as promoting off-campus Ramona Lot, limiting the sale of on campus parking permits and a ride hailing service called Zimride.

As of press time, 640 Ramona Lot parking passes have been sold.  The majority of the students purchasing these permits are students who have gone through new student orientation, according to UTAPS Senior Director Tony Lucas.

“A lot of students who came to our information sessions and heard about our facility did some soul searching and decided they could afford to do this,” said Lucas. “Primarily those have been students who have attended our transfer orientation or our freshman orientation. Even when we did the SacSend to all students to tell them they were available, we saw an uptake in the number of Ramona passes sold.”

Ramona Lot is open from 6:30 a.m. until 8 .p.m., and shuttles will bring students to and from campus every 15 minutes.

Lucas does not have a specific number in mind in regards to how many on campus parking passes are to be sold throughout the semester, and said that he would “rather not” limit on campus passes at all.

“We’re really hoping that students who do have a little more flexibility in their schedules will choose to park at the Ramona location so that we don’t have to limit the number of passes we sell for the campus,” Lucas said.  “We’re actually up on parking spaces and if we can get students to park out there we won’t have to constrain it.  But, having said that, I’m not gonna sell 17,500 parking passes again for the campus and then set people up for failure.  It’s not our desire.”

Zimride, the ride-hailing service meant to help students find an alternate way to get to campus, has been delayed due to contract issues.

“We really had hoped for it to be up at the beginning of this semester, but it’s not likely to happen because of the contract talks,” Lucas said. “It wouldn’t help the first couple of weeks anyways, we still have to train the students how to use it. We expect it to be very helpful for the spring semester, and absolutely helpful for next fall because, by then, all of the returners will know how to use it.”

To beat peak traffic hours and to find parking, some students got to campus earlier than their class time. On the first day of classes, senior kinesiology major Samuel Arias got to campus at 10 a.m. to find parking for his 1 p.m. class.

“I got here early because I didn’t want to struggle finding parking,” Arias said. “I did cheat the system though because I went to the front of the structure and asked a guy if he was leaving.  I gave him a ride to his car to get his spot, which only took about 10 minutes.”