Among USF students, there are quite a few that call themselves commuters. These are the students that rush to claim the limited numbers of parking spots at USF every day.
USF has recently converted 20 parking spaces into yellow loading zones. The yellow zone spaces are being converted all over the campus in areas including Harney, Kalmanovitz Hall, South Side of Phelan, and University Center Lot. This change has now eliminated 20 spaces of parking around campus for commuter students. Jessica Aceves, a senior studying International Business, said, “I have a car but I would rather take public transportation because of the parking difficulty on campus. USF has made the decision to covert these twenty parking spots to yellow zones, yet they have not provided any kind of additional support to commuting students dealing with parking.” USF Parking Administration was unavailable to comment.
USF parking works on a lottery basis for parking permits; this leaves many students without parking on campus. USF Parking is by permit only, and every permit is issued based on specific lots. All off-campus students have the option to enter a parking lottery, which, according to Public Safety, is held every August for the following academic year for full time and part-time parking permits.
Franco Agustin, a senior international business major at USF, is a regular commuter. Agustin said, “I usually have to come early to find parking and hope to get lucky with all-day parking spots around school.” Although the lottery is available for students, he said, “I feel that the lottery is difficult to get for many students due to the limited [number] of permits that are given out each academic year.” For the students that do not have permits for parking and commute regularly, the struggle to find street parking is inevitable.
Street parking is broken down into two main options. One option is to park on the surrounding streets of the campus for two hour periods and move the car every two hours. The second option is to find the three to four areas of street parking that are all-day parking. These options leave many students looking, fighting, and hopefully getting lucky in finding parking when commuting to school. USF student Anita Buitrago said, “When it comes to driving, I have a much harder time finding spaces and get stuck dealing with parking tickets. I usually need to find spots that are all day, like the 24-hours parking spots on Golden Gate Avenue, because I am on campus all day from about 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. but it is very difficult to get those spots. So I either have to move my car regularly from the two-hour parking or get lucky.”
The surrounding streets of USF are residential and because of that, the city requires residential parking permits for those areas surrounding the school. Primarily these areas are within Arguello Boulevard to Masonic Avenue and Fell Street to Geary Boulevard. The residential parking permits are limited only to persons living in this area. They also limit all of the vehicles without residential permits to two-hour parking between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Because of these restrictions and obstacles, many USF students have suggested expansion of the parking garages.
Agustin said, “If USF could add more stories to the parking structures that already exist it will greatly help student having more parking.”
Buitrago agreed. “I would say instead of investing so much money on the aesthetics of the campus, [USF should] have a parking lot that caters to its students.”