The Department of Parking and Transportation’s $20M dollar plan to solve the parking problem on campus comes literally from the students-the cost of parking permits will increase by 16.5 percent next semester to $274.
Over the next five years, the price will rise by eight percent each year, with an increase in five percent for the five following years; that is, under this new plan laid out on the Department of Parking and Transportation web site, parking permits at the University of Miami will cost $513 by 2012.
Parking permits went up in cost only 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2001.
“They won’t let it go up to $500,” said student government Speaker of the Senate, Mike Johnston. “After around four years it’s going to plateau at around $360.”
Students are outraged at this drastic hike in price. They said that the effect on their pocketbooks, in addition to the inconveniences that they will have to face during construction, is too large a price to pay for the 8200 total parking spaces that will take until 2005 to become a reality.
Groundbreaking for the Pavia Garage-at the site of Student Service Center Lot-is scheduled for March 11, with an opening date in August 2002. In between those five months, the Student Service Center Lot will be closed-a loss of 198 parking spaces.
“That’s outrageous,” said junior Uris Paniewski. “No, I don’t think it’s worth it to raise permits.”
“$20 million is a lot to spend on parking,” Johnston said.
“That’s a lot of money. At the University of Florida it’s only $80 a parking permit,” said sophomore Travis Atria. “The increase is about the same that they get from parking tickets without the garage. They should just use that money.”
To facilitate the students and faculty, 214 temporary parking spaces will be created behind the Lowe Art Museum and adjacent to the Behavioral Sciences Building, and across from the University Center.
There is also going to be an expansion on the number of discount parking lots, in an effort to decentralize the parking problems, which occur when all the students are looking for spaces in the same parking lots, said the new Director of Parking, Charles McConnell.
The discount parking permits will be $258, a six percent discount.
“There are trying to plateau students coming in,” Johnston said.
However, for some students, the damage caused by the fruitless search for parking spaces over the past few years has soured them on the hope that the problem may be resolved.
“I don’t have a parking permit, nor do I ever intend on getting one,” said senior Ben Bausher. “My philosophy is, why pay for a spot that’s not there?”
“I already feel trapped. Once I get on campus, I can’t leave,” said freshman Lara Traver. “If I leave, what’s the guarantee I’ll find another space?”
Sophomore Nicole Sturzene was the one student interviewed who was resolved to the permit increase in the chance that parking on campus would get easier:
“It’s the price to pay for convenience-people want a parking garage.”