SG opposed eliminating free parking by campus

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Student Government passed a resolution Tuesday night opposing plans by the neighborhood association of West Campus to eliminate free parking in the area.

John Brady, Student Government transportation agency director, cowrote the resolution and described it as a compromise between students and the neighborhood association, University Area Partners. SG’s resolution calls for a decrease in the amount of proposed parking meters to be installed by limiting them to Rio Grande and Guadalupe streets.

By keeping parking meters from crossing west of Rio Grande, West Campus will only see about 150 new meters installed in addition to the 150 already in place, Brady said.

“I think that had those initial plans been put forth and approved, you would have seen a pretty significant increase in cost of living for a lot of students,” he said. “If all the street parking had gone away, those students would have had to look for garage parking.”

Before the resolution passed, students lacked a strong unified voice in discussions for the parking meters, said SG representative John Lawler, a member of the Central Austin Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee, the umbrella advisory board to the citywide planning commission. But this resolution provides that for students, serving as a bargaining chip to decrease the amount of new parking meters added, he said.

“We knew we wanted to offer some official voice on the subject,” Lawler said.

UAP board member Brian Donovan said SG’s resolution might not have as much of an impact as actual participation at meetings has had thus far.

“In some sense, it’s a compromise,” Brady said. “But it is certainly one that we fought very hard to go from what could have been to what now is.”