Price, hour changes on downtown parking meters likely to affect ASU students

Parking meter rates and hours will soon be changing in the downtown Phoenix area, leaving ASU students to cope with the adjustments.

In August, parking meters in the metro Phoenix area will be active until 10 p.m. every day including weekends and holidays. All meters will have a two-hour limit.

Following the changes in hours, rates will also change in November to as much as $4 per hour. Rates will vary depending on the area and have yet to be determined.

Parking meters are active until 5 p.m. with rates of $0.50 an hour. Students who attend the Downtown campus will feel the impact of these changes in various ways.

Corina Tapscott, vice president of services at the Downtown campus, said she has concerns that the changes will discourage students from visiting the area.

“I worry about students choosing not to participate downtown for a longer period of time, either in the ASU community or the downtown Phoenix community because of this,” Tapscott said.

Tapscott said students who take night classes or lengthier classes will notice the impact of these changes especially.

“Many graduate student classes are during that time and evening classes are often longer than the two-hour parking meter limit,” she said.

Tapscott was in attendance at city council meetings where the proposal was debated and said she urged council members not to pass it. Now that the proposals have been approved, she said she hopes to find a solution for student concerns.

“We’re going to have to figure out what the student concerns are and make this the best possible situation it can be for students,” she said.

Ryan Boyd, nominee for senator of the College of Public Programs in Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, worked closely with Tapscott to generate student input on the proposals.

Together with Tapscott, Boyd encouraged students to write and e-mail members of city council and invited them to attend the council meeting when the meter proposals were up for debate.

“We continued to spread the word and continued to try and get people involved to express their criticisms,” Boyd said.

Boyd said eight Downtown students attended the meeting and council members mentioned that their offices were “flooded” with e-mails and phone calls from students.

Boyd said he thinks the passing of these changes will negatively impact the community.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a lot of people visiting downtown, because they have to pay to park even on weekends and holidays,” he said.

Alison Richardson, a graduate student working on her masters of public administration, is concerned about student safety and awareness of the changes.

“Downtown parking lots are several blocks away in the city and at 9 at night the city is not a safe place,” Richardson said. “Students utilize the meters because they’re close and right on campus.”

Richardson is also concerned that the changes were passed without extensive input from ASU students who will be affected.

“They neglected to speak to any students or anyone at ASU,” she said. “They said they did extensive studies but when they were asked, ‘Did you contact any Downtown students or anyone at ASU?’ they said no.”

Tapscott said student government has made efforts to inform students.

“Students are more aware than even a couple weeks ago,” she said. “Myself and one of my representatives went around campus speaking to students about it and we’ve been hitting social media.”

Multiple phone calls to councilmen Michael Nowakowski and Sal DiCiccio were not returned.

Reach the reporter at icbeck@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @ICBeck21