Campus Parking Increase Troubles Students

Photo: Jeff Hawkins | CU Denver Sentry

FEES INCREASE BY 25 CENTS THIS YEAR

Photo: Jeff Hawkins | CU Denver Sentry
Photo: Jeff Hawkins | CU Denver Sentry

Back to school means back to late night studying, bottomless cups of coffee, and, for many, back to parking nightmares. While most campus commuters make their way to school via buses and the light rail, thousands of students make their way to campus in cars. As these students drive into the new school year, they’ll notice some changes in the garages, and in their wallets.

Parking rates for all lots and garages on campus have increased by 25 cents for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, and will increase another 25 cents for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. “The parking rate adjustment was favorably voted on by the Auraria Board of Directors (ABOD) in May to guarantee a stable revenue stream for the campus programs and operations supported by the parking auxiliary enterprise,” Director of Communications and Senior Policy Advisor Katy Brown said.

This is the first time the daily parking fee has gone up in three years. “In 2011 and 2013, the ABOD adjusted the daily fee pricing structure by 50 cents respectively those two years,” Brown said. “However, since 2013, rates have not been adjusted. In recognition of the financial obligations, in addition to the loss of an additional 447 parking spaces for institutional building sites, an adjustment was proposed and accepted.”

… the first time the daily parking fee has gone up in three years…

Many frustrated car-drivers may be wondering where all their money is going. Luckily, it’s making a contribution. “Parking revenues support parking lot maintenance like safety lighting, cleaning, stripe painting of lots and garages; general campus operations like construction of new buildings, and paying off debt service,” Brown said. “Parking and Transportation Services revenue helps keep the Auraria Campus running; it’s the students, faculty, and staff who benefit from the parking rate increase.”

While some see the fee increase as a beneficial thing for the campus community, others are very much against the idea. There was even a student-created petition to stop the increase, and students voiced their concern directly to the board. On Facebook, many Auraria students joined the “Not My Parking” page, which informed students of the proposed fee change and had a link to the online petition. While the fee increase did end up passing, students’ effort did not go unnoticed.

“The initial proposal was to increase the parking rate by 50 cents this fiscal year,” Brown said. “However, the Auraria Board of Directors voted to split the increase into two years (25 cents each year) after students voiced concern about the increase at the May Board of Directors meeting.”

Although drivers may be irked that fees have gone up, paying daily parking fees is not the only option for car-commuters. “Value packages, including the passport program and lot permits, will continue to be offered at a discounted rate,” Brown said. “The Juniper lot, which is reserved for permits and evening parking, has actually decreased in price for this fiscal year.”

Pockets may be a bit shallower this year for drivers, but hopefully everyone on campus will benefit from this decision.

Tessa Blair
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