Professor encourages efficient parking practices

Dear Editor,

The page-one story in the STAR’s first 2015 issue about a free-transit deal for students suggests Sonoma State University is doing everything it can to promote the use of public transportation.

The bus program is great, but the university is defeating its own stated goals with its lame auto-friendly policies on parking for Green Music Center events.

The university is happy to tell patrons, “Your parking is included with the price of your ticket.” Not clear why any patrons should be happy they are forced to pay for parking whether they want it or not. A family of four rides together to the concert in one car? They still pay four times for parking.

Someone comes on foot, or bicycle, or bus? They still pay for parking. Members of the Sonoma State community who already have semester parking pass? They pay again for parking when they attend a Green Music Center event.

Of course there would be chaos if every Green Music Center patron with a car to park had to stop at a kiosk and buy a permit—no concert would ever start on time. 

But there is another way: When patrons buy their concert tickets—by phone, on-line, or in-person—they could be asked whether they will be bringing a car to campus. If so, they can be sold the parking permit at the same time as their tickets.

One transaction (cash or charge). One packet (tickets and permit) to be delivered. Zero problem.

The university should be a leader in encouraging people to use alternative means of transportation that are less abusive to the environment. Instead, the university is giving them an incentive to do just the opposite.

- Rick Luttmann, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Mathematics