Sacramento State University recently unveiled a new downtown center, with President Robert S. Nelsen proclaiming it the “anchor university” of the state’s capital (“Sac State will anchor in the city by going downtown,” Viewpoints, Aug. 28).
The downtown campus is a win for the administration and a welcome addition to the community. Unfortunately, student parking was not among the administration’s priorities and remains a problem 27 months after purchasing the building.
Among the classes, programs and institutes moving to the center is the public policy and administration graduate program, of which I am a current student. The downtown center includes a very small parking lot, which it will outgrow as class offerings increase.
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Sac State encourages carpooling and other alternative means of transportation to the center, but these options do not serve working and commuting students. So the majority of students will be relegated to street parking, which presents several problems. The city parking meters near the center are obsolete; they do not accept credit cards and are not supported by the Park Mobile app. Street parking also costs more for students. A parking permit on campus is $174 a semester, while on-street parking three evenings a week will cost $336 a semester, not including potential parking tickets, added stress and tardiness to class.
The city of Sacramento, Sac State and state of California must collaborate to solve this looming parking problem. First, upgrade parking meters to accept the smart phone app and credit cards. The city could also honor student parking passes within a five-block radius of the downtown center or at nearby city parking decks. The state could offer access to its parking lot directly across the street for evening students.
If Sac State Downtown is truly destined to become an “anchor university,” then it must provide enough student parking to match the grandeur of its vision.
Jeremiah Ramirez is a graduate student in public policy & administration at California State University, Sacramento. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.