Despite upgrades to campus parking lots, USD students continue to face difficulties finding convenient parking at residence halls and other high-activity lots.
The lots raising the most challenge are parking lot 24 and 5. Lot 24, located west of North Complex, used to be all-permit parking but was changed to only A parking this year. Lot 5 was upgraded over the summer to host 115 additional B parking spaces, said Bryant Jackson, Sergeant at the USD Police Department.
Lot 36 is an all-permit lot and has access spots, Jackson said, but it still doesn’t satisfy students because it is far away from most classroom buildings.
“Lot 36 is any-permit and is often open…is only a block or two really from anywhere on campus, but there is almost always parking here,” Jackson said.
Matt Yetter, a senior studying political science, criminal justice and history, and At-Large Senator on Student Government Association, said he hopes to continuously voice his opinions regarding parking until changes occur.
“Students complain every semester about parking, and nothing changes. Part of it is, unfortunately, is the inability of the university parking committee to respond to student complaints,” he said.
Aleah Burggraff, a junior majoring in Spanish and media and journalism, said the parking situation on campus is “sad.”
“I think USD really needs to update their systems so they do not have the tags anymore.I used to go to [South Dakota] State and they just scan your license plate. It was way more advanced and I think that is what they should have,” Burggraff said.
Yetter, who proposed a one-parking system last October, said he had to withdraw the proposal because of new parking developments on campus.
“The lot was financed through dollars by Housing,” Yetter said. “The way it works is whosoever builds the lot, gets the lot revenue. So having a one-pass system was not considered at all by the parking committee after that… they didn’t want to get into the technicalities of dividing revenue.”
Within a year, the parking permits increased from $162 to $166. The Parking Committee serves as an advisory board to the Executive Committee for all matters related to parking on campus, but Yetter said the decision was made without discussion from the committee.
“No one asked anyone about it. At the August Board of Regents meeting, someone from the University proposed it. But that raises questions of whether it was index inflation that was never communicated to SGA or the University parking committee,” Yetter said.
Burggraff said the permit cost was unfair to students.
“I think it is very ridiculous, I understand that you are making a profit, but they are making profits off so many other things that I wonder why they need to make more profit off how we park,” Burggraff said.
In Fall of 2018, the total numerical parking space open to A and B Pass holders was 3,287, the total feasible spaces open was 2888, where with there was a total of 3689 passes sold to both A and B permit holders.
Yetter said the numerical space referred to the raw total parking spaces available, while feasible spaces were all parking lot on campus except for spaces in the DakotaDome and at the track complex.
Jackson said students who are urged with questions about parking could either speak with their respective housing staff or connect with University Police by call or office.
“Their best bet is going to be to talk to their RAs and Housing staff. They are readily available to answer any questions and get [students] pointed in the right direction,” Jackson said. “Otherwise they can call UPD or stop by during the day.”
The USD Business Office was asked for parking data for Fall 2019 but did not give a response.