UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services has undertaken a project to replace lights in parking structures with bulbs that are more efficient and fixtures that detect motion.
TAPS is currently working in the North Entry Parking Structure by the Memorial Union. Between lower energy bills and the need for fewer bulbs, the university is expected to save approximately $25,000 per year. To conduct the installation, 50 to 70 spaces will be closed per day for a length of at least three weeks.
This project is making a positive improvement on campus, and should be commended. However, the timing could not have been worse.
The construction easily could have been done over the summer, when fewer students compete for parking in this crowded parking structure. With high attendance during the middle of the quarter when midterms are in full swing, this was the worst possible time to schedule such a renovation. The improvements would have been preferable even at the end of a quarter, when student attendance often drops off before finals.
For even greater convenience, the project could have been completed between fall quarter and winter quarter, when students do not have class and there is less demand for parking. This same task could have been started six weeks later, had the same result and caused minimal issues.
Closing this many spaces to students, faculty and staff who pay as much as $564 per year for the privilege to park is unacceptable. When people pay for services, it is imperative that their needs are addressed. TAPS ignored the needs of its paying customers simply because it can.