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Parking should be a priority

With the construction starting on the University of La Verne’s new dorms, students eagerly await the new housing that will be available to them.

However, now that the Master Plan is progressing with another parking lot out of commission, the commuters of the University of La Verne have been left to suffer once again.

It is true that the construction of the dorms and renovations are much needed to improve the University in general, but the University is working backward. Instead of starting construction on the promised parking lot first, they broke ground on 138 needed spaces in lot F and leased an off-campus lot to make up for it.

To help the parking situation on campus, the University has implemented another shuttle system to the off campus lot on A street.

The shuttle system was tested last semester, but did not take off as the University had hoped. The key difference this time around is the incentive offered to full-time faculty and staff. Before the beginning of the spring 2011 semester, full-time employees of ULV were offered $100 a month to park in the new off-campus lot on the condition they park there every day of the month.

Both the parking lot and the shuttles used for the service are leased to the school. The shuttles are through Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the lot is being leased through a private company for the use by the university. The cost of the leased vehicles are on top of the incentive money given to volunteers that park in the lots, as well as gas money and the shuttle driver’s pay.

With 210 volunteers parking full-time, the price of parking is starting to seem like more of a hassle than if the school had started building the parking lot before focusing on the dorms.

Not to mention that the school’s attempt at going green may be at risk. The promise made to commuters was that every 10 minutes a shuttle would be making its round to pick up anyone that needed a lift. With the short distance from the temporary lot to the campus uses up a lot of gas.

Construction on the new lot will begin in May, so the school does not have to rely on the shuttle service in fall 2011, Clive Houston-Brown, associate vice president of facility and technology services, said.

The shuttle service is not useless since parking is becoming a contest for spaces during the school day. It is important that the students and staff have a safe place to park while they go through the day. But it is important that the school does not spend funds needed for construction on expenses that could have been avoided if they had began building a new parking lot before destroying the old one.

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