Aug 222007
 
Authors: Erik Myers

Some students parking in the engineering lot say they have been wasting more time in the lot this semester than they have in the past.

Installed in early August, four automated parking pay stations replaced the traditional silver coin slot meters that had been there originally. New automated meters have also been installed in the lot at Lake Street and Center Avenue.

To use the pay station, students insert coins or bills and then enter the stall number in which they parked. A receipt is then printed. It’s expected that the pay stations will accept RamCards and credit cards in the future.

A single pay station ran $12,000. The total redesign of the engineering lot, which includes the cost of additional landscaping, cost $255,000, said Jackie Swaro, public information officer for the CSUPD.

As a result, some students say they are annoyed about having to wait in line to pay for their spot.

“They’re kind of a pain, just because of when there’s a long line and you’re already late for class,” said Andrew Hedges, a senior speech major.

The queue lines are not the only complaint among students.

“I feel like a lot of spots are taken up by putting up the actual meters,” said Meaghan Zuehlke, a junior business major.

The new pay stations, their concrete foundations and additional landscaping amounted to 35 lost spots across the engineering lot in total.

Swaro said in an e-mail interview that the pay stations were put in accordance to a parking services proposal in late 2006.

Regarding long lines, Swaro said students need to remember that efficiency depends largely on students.

“It is a good idea for students to be aware of all four machines and consider which machine has a shorter line,” Swaro said. “Also, students must be ready with their payment to get everyone through the line efficiently.”

The pay station offers many advantages over the traditional meters, Swaro said, by offering printed receipts and requiring less maintenance than the meters used previously.

Pay stations could be installed in other parking lots in the future, depending on the review of other short-term parking spaces.

Staff writer Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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