Campus parking closures continues at CSUMB

By Jenna Ethridge
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Chain-link fences with blue tarping surrounding Lot 12 after its closure on August 18th. Photo by Jenna Ethridge.

Like most colleges, parking at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) can be quite the challenge. In addition to the increase in cost of a parking permit for the semester, there are also limitations on which lots are included with which permits, which stalls are available for overnight parking, and the decreasing amount of parking spaces that can be found on campus.

With the conversion of Lot 12 to a Student Union building set to open in 2020, commuting students and those living on campus with cars, are left to find parking in lots that require even more walking to their various destinations. Prior to the Lot 12 closure, popular lots including 71, 18 and 13 would already reach capacity before the afternoon with students regularly attending classes throughout the week.

Amidst these changes, The Lutrinae became curious: How will this impact current students and their transportation to and around campus?

We spoke with Valerie Tingley, the Parking Manager of the CSUMB Police Department and Adam Levitus, Project Engineer, about the Student Union project, alternate parking locations, fees and overall impact.

The Lutrinae: With the loss of a parking lot, can we expect an addition in the future to fit the needs of the growing number of commuters?

Tingley: We have not reduced the total number of parking stalls on campus, but are consolidating them to make the core of campus more walking and bike friendly. Lot 59 at 7th and A was built in anticipation of Lot 12’s closure, and the reduction of spaces due to the Academic 3 construction, as well. Lot 59 has 839 total spaces with lighting, emergency blue lights, and security cameras.

The Lutrinae: Is the increase in the cost for a parking permit contributing to the cost of the new Student Union?

Tingley: No it is not. The CSUMB parking program is a self-supported program that is financed through user fees (per Section 89701 of the Education Code) and parking fees did not increase for the first 20 years of CSUMB operation. Parking infrastructure was inherited from the US Army. We must continue to address deferred maintenance, make improvements to parking facilities with lighting, pathways, ADA compliance upgrades, and the addition of new consolidated lots.

The Lutrinae: As of today, is the Otter Student Union on schedule and prepared to open in 2020?

Levitus: The project is still on schedule to open in 2020.

The Lutrinae: Will shuttles or other means of public transportation be available for those parking in far-away lots traveling to Main campus?

Tingley: We currently have public transit – MST – providing service through, around, to and from campus. Students, faculty and staff ride MST for free with their Otter ID. For current MST campus related routes, please go to the csumb.edu/transportation/transit page.

The Lutrinae: What was the reasoning for not starting the construction process earlier this summer, as well as the location?

Levitus: Based on external regulatory approvals, the Student Union construction process began in Summer 2018 on a site defined in the CSUMB Master Plan.

The Lutrinae: What tips do you have for students commuting and parking on campus?

Tingley: Take public transit! But if you must drive your vehicle, parking is abundant in Lot 59! It is a 5-8 minute walk down A Street to the Library, and you won’t be using valuable time hunting for a space and starting out your day stressed! And don’t forget that we have a night walk program; the night walk service provides escorts between main campus locations to anyone regardless of their affiliation with CSUMB. Escorts will be provided on foot and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is provided by CSO’s Monday through Friday evenings from 5pm to midnight during the fall and spring semesters, and police officers at all other times. Call 831-655-0268 to request a night walk.

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