The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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New G3 structure to be smaller, more expensive than B3 structure

Next time you get a ticket on campus, buy a parking sticker or pull over at an information booth to purchase a $5 daily pass. Your money will be used to build another parking structure.

The new structure would increase the campus’ total parking capacity by 11,000 spaces in an effort to accommodate the increasing student population and relieve congestion.

A campus map for the 2007 academic year shows the future location of the parking structure on the west side of the G3 parking lot on Zelzah Avenue between Prairie and Dearborn streets, but there are no signs of construction yet.

Work would most likely begin in late October or early November, said Colin Donahue, associate vice president for facilities, development and operations.

“On Sept. 27, the project is scheduled to receive bids,” Donahue said.

After the winning bidder for the construction contract is determined, the project would be on a 14-month schedule and would be completed by January 2009, Donahue said.

The new structure would have 1,500 spaces, which is 560 less than the six-level B3 structure located on Etiwanda Avenue. The B3 project was completed in 2005 with a price tag of $18 million. With the surrounding roadwork, the entire G3 project would cost about $24.5 million, Donahue said.

“It’s smaller than the B3, but it’ll cost more,” Donahue said. “The price of construction has gone up substantially since 2005.”

The multimillion-dollar project wouldn’t receive any funding from the state.

“All parking is funded from parking revenue,” Donahue said. “Parking is a self-sustained auxiliary.”

Donahue said bonds would finance a substantial part of the project, which would have to be repaid later with the revenue from parking operations.

In the 2004-05 fiscal year, parking operations received a total revenue of $6.6 million, while expenditures and obligations totaled $12.2 million, the CSUN Summary Report of Campus Operating Accounts shows. Fees and charges constitute 98 percent of the total revenue. In 2005, CSUN sold 20,653 student permits, about 5,400 faculty and staff permits, and issued 20,942 parking citations, said Christina Villalobos, special assistant to the chief of police and community relations officer.

Parking citations range from $35 for parking on campus without a permit to $390 for parking in the disabled zone without a proper placard.

Students and visitors who rely on a day pass to park at CSUN now have to pay $1 more.

A sign inside the Department of Public Safety office shows that starting Aug. 23, parking fees for visitors will increase to $5 from $4 in the previous year.

The $1 increase would also help pay for the new G3 parking structure and parking improvements elsewhere on campus, said Marlee Darrett, public safety community service specialist.

Although students will eventually pay most of the cost of constructing a new parking structure, some remain optimistic.

“I don’t mind. It’s for the school. I go here so one day I might take advantage of the new parking,” said Monique Martinez, a freshman cinema and television arts major. “A $1 increase is not bad.”

But Martinez said the B3 structure isn’t always full, though there’s a lot of congestion in the morning.

“Today was my first time driving to school. It was traumatizing,” Martinez said. “We need more space, but people aren’t taking advantage of what we have.”

Junior psychology major Chris Jimenez said parking fees and tickets at CSUN are pricey, but he’d like to see the money put to good use.

“Take that money and make more covered parking,” Jimenez said.

Despite improvements in parking at CSUN, Jimenez said parking on campus still doesn’t accommodate him whenever he drives to school.

“I mean you are still walking to class for 15 minutes,” Jimenez said.

After three years at CSUN, he’s had to pay at least one ticket a year, but he isn’t sure where all that money is going.

“I know how it feels to get a fat parking ticket,” Jimenez said. “It’s not a slap on the wrist. It’s more like a slap on the face.”

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